After his man-of-the-match winning performance for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, Tim Southee credited skipper Virat Kohli for inspiring the team to put out their best performance in the middle. Southee, who took 2 wickets and gave just 25 runs in his spell of four overs in the match, spoke to the reporters at the press conference after the 14-run victory and said that captaincy from Kohli made things easier for him in the final stages of the match.
“It got a little bit close towards the end. But I think Virat (Kohli) backed the guys to go out there and back their strongest skill set, and we saw that with the way Siraj closed out his last over and made my job a little bit easier with a few more to defend. I think we assessed the conditions and we executed majority of the time,” the New Zealand international said.
The 29-year old further added that his side managed to adjudge the swinging conditions of the pitch and performed accordingly. “There was a little bit of assistance there with the swing and we were able to take those early wickets. And once it stopped swinging, we adapted to that, to the cross seam deliveries which were holding [up on the] the surface and moving a little bit off the surface as well. So, I think we were reasonably smart as a bowling unit and we were able to assess the conditions,” he said.
Shane Bond still optimistic for Mumbai Indians
With the defeat in the crucial fixture, the defending champions Mumbai Indians are staring at an early exit from the competition. But the bowling coach Shane Bond expressed hopes at the press conference and said that the side can still turn around things in the remaining matches. “We have six games left and we have to win them all. That is what we have to do. I still believe when you look at our squad, we have key players who can win us six games in a row. We have done it in the past (in 2015) and I believe we can do it again,” the former New Zealand international told reporters.
Speaking about his team’s bowling performance, the 42-year-old said that a few bad overs cost them the match.”We gave 15 runs above than what we would have liked. We bowled well for 17 overs. We bowled three terrible overs which cost us probably 60-65 runs. I think 155 or anything under 160 would have been good for us,” he said. On the hotly-debated topic on whether Rohit Sharma should open the innings, Bond said that he has been the most successful for the team at No. 4 position.
“If you look at the success of the team and the times we have won titles, he (Rohit) has always batted at No. 4. He has batted at No. 4 and won games for us. There is always a debate about where Rohit should bat. But history suggests No. 4 is the best place for Rohit,” he said.
With just two wins from eight matches, Mumbai Indians are currently positioned at the second last position in the eight-team IPL.