Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that it will be a massive challenge for his team to keep the momentum with them after registering a convincing six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab on Friday. Stating that he is happy that the win over KXIP keeps his team alive in IPL 2018, Sharma reiterated the need for collective efforts in the coming matches.
Speaking at the post-match presentation he said, “I think we are still alive. Good performance tonight. Much needed for us. We needed everyone to come and put a collective effort. We started well with the ball. To restrict their batting unit on this pitch at this ground was a great effort. And to chase it down the way we did was really nice. Wasn’t really easy early on but we knew that we had a lot of depth in our batting.”
Explaining the decision to promote himself down the order he said, “The way we went about our chase in the first 10 overs, I felt we needed momentum. So, Hardik, the way he plays, was suited to do that. Hence, I held myself back for the end and having played here before, I know what kind of shots work. Always feels good when you finish off the chase.”
However, the skipper also expressed concern over consistently leaking runs in the death overs and said, “That is something which is a pattern for us. We’ve been giving too many at the death but that’s how the game goes. I had to bring Jasprit in the 19th over with two set batsmen and if he struck, it would have made things easier for Hardik. Plus the longer boundaries would have helped Hardik in the 20th over. That’s how it goes sometimes. I have to use Jasprit really well and the others around him are doing the job for us. It’s about being really smart with the ball.”
Ashwin blames poor batting
“I thought the wicket was a bit sticky, said the same during the toss. We played pretty well, but didn’t get enough runs in the end. If not for Stoinis, we wouldn’t have got 174,” said Rohit Sharma’s opposite number R Ashwin in the KXIP camp.
Ashwin, however, praised the bowlers and wants his side to continue playing in the same style of cricket that they have thus far. “We fought well, if a few things had gone our way, we might have ended as winners. We bowled pretty well, but this wasn’t our night. Not really (if the week’s break cost them the momentum), it’s just a perception, the week off didn’t hurt us. This tournament isn’t all that easy, it’s not easy to knock off 16 points, if we play like this for the next 3-4 games, we should be good enough to qualify for the knockouts. Captaincy brings a lot of responsibility, so far so good. 6 games to go, it’s not about getting 3 wins, if we play the brand of cricket that we are playing, we should do good,” Ashwin said.