"Why would you spoil that rhythm?" - Sanjay Manjrekar slams GT think tank for interrupting Mohit Sharma in last over of IPL 2023 final
Sanjay Manjrekar has questioned the Gujarat Titans (GT) team management for passing on messages to pacer Mohit Sharma in the crucial last over of the IPL 2023 final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Monday, May 29.
CSK were set a revised target of 171 in 15 overs as rain stopped play for a considerable amount of time after the first innings. The contest proved to be a thrilling one, with all three results looking likely towards the end.
The equation eventually came down to 13 off six balls, and Sharma was tasked with bowling the all-important last over. The seamer started off brilliantly, executing four perfect yorkers.
With 10 runs required from the final two balls, one of Gujarat's substitute players ran to the field with drinks and had a word with the bowler. Skipper Hardik Pandya also had a chat with Sharma at that point.
Manjrekar claimed that the delay between the fourth and fifth deliveries was unnecessary, as it disrupted the pacer's rhythm. When play resumed, Ravindra Jadeja hit a six followed by a four to take his team home.
"Mohit Sharma is not somebody that we know is a yorker-bowler," Manjrekar said to ESPNCricinfo. "His main strength is taking the pace off, and here, he was nailing the perfect yorkers. He was in a zone, three brilliant yorkers to dangerous batters. He has a drink!"
"There are a couple of people who come around," the former Indian batter continued. "When he was walking back to his bowling mark, he was looking calm and confident. Why would you spoil that rhythm?"
GT's heartbreaking five-wicket defeat (DLS method) in the summit clash gave MS Dhoni and Co. their fifth IPL title.
"The closer it got, the more complicated it got" - Tom Moody on Mohit Sharma's final over
During the discussion, former Australian cricketer Tom Moody echoed the same sentiments as Sanjay Manjrekar. Moody claimed that the GT think tank spoiled Mohit Sharma's momentum prior to the last two balls.
He highlighted that the bowler seemed to be very confident and opined that Gujarat should have backed him to execute his plans.
"He [Mohit Sharma] was absolutely spot on, wasn't he? His first two or three balls were the perfect yorkers, and it was nearly like the closer it got the more complicated it got with regards to the interference of Mohit Sharma. The input from the captain and the discussions around what should be done," Moody said.
"When you have that type of momentum, when you have that type of confidence in what you do, you'd expect that the is pretty confident and knows what he is doing. I just felt that layer of stalling of that over may have just broken the momentum, from a bowler's perspective," he added.
Notably, Sharma was one of the top performers with the ball for Hardik Pandya and Co. in the 2023 season. With 27 wickets from 14 outings, the 34-year-old finished as the second-highest wicket-taker for the team.