He made this observation while reviewing the IPL 2020 encounter between the two teams in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Mumbai Indians did not get off to the greatest of starts, since they lost Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav with not too many runs on the board.
"Batting on that pitch was not easy. I thought Quinton de Kock would play well but the ball swung and rattled his stumps, not a very good sight. Suryakumar Yadav got run out and the innings was wobbling a little."
The reputed commentator mentioned that Ishan Kishan could not replicate his blazing innings from the previous match, but said that the young southpaw was guided well by Rohit Sharma, who was at the other end.
"Ishan Kishan just couldn't get going. This game is a great leveller, one day you are flying in the sky and the next day you are lying on the floor. He stood there for a little while but the more important thing was that Rohit Sharma was at the other end."
The former KKR player observed that the Kings XI Punjab bowling attack was almost ripped to shreds by Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. The duo were particularly severe on Krishnappa Gowtham, who bowled the last over.
"And then came Pollard and Pandya who hit a lot. 104 runs in the last 6 overs, 89 runs in the last 5 overs and Mumbai Indians have done this in two consecutive matches. It is an absolutely brutal murder of the opposition bowlers. They hit 25 runs in the last over bowled by Gowtham."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the 192-run target was a bridge too far to cross for Kings XI Punjab, with the Mumbai Indians climbing to the top of the table with this one-sided victory.
"They scored so many runs and the chase was derailed at the start. It was a massive win for the Mumbai Indians at the end and they have gone to the top of the points table."
Aakash Chopra on Rohit Sharma's contribution to the Mumbai Indians' victory
Aakash Chopra spoke highly about the manner in which Rohit Sharma handled the Mumbai Indians' bowling resources, apart from his field placements.
"Rohit Sharma as a captain did a great job in rotating his bowlers. All his bowlers delivered the goods and his bowling changes are absolutely impeccable. And the field he set for Sarfaraz, keeping a fielder behind the wicket-keeper. He has been very very smart as a captain."
He also highlighted that the Mumbai Indians captain has made telling contributions as a batsman in both the matches the franchise has won in IPL 2020.
"But then as a batsman, because the two matches Mumbai Indians have won there is a common thing, that Rohit Sharma has scored runs. He scored runs against KKR and Mumbai Indians won and the same thing happened in this match as well. Mumbai Indians lost the two matches in which he didn't score runs."
The 43-year-old observed that it was not an easy pitch to bat on and lauded the way Rohit Sharma mentored Ishan Kishan in the middle.
"The batting was difficult initially but he stood there even when the strokes were not coming off. He took a good DRS off Shami's bowling. Ishan was struggling a little but Rohit told him not to hit and that he will manage."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that although Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya might have applied the finishing touches, it was Rohit Sharma's knock that helped the Mumbai Indians reach a score that was beyond the Kings XI Punjab's reach.
"Rohit Sharma took the game to a stage from where Pollard and Pandya could come and attack. If Rohit had not been there, Mumbai Indians wouldn't have reached a score beyond 190, they would have scored around 160-170 and then it would have been game on."
Rohit Sharma played a majestic 70-run knock to help the Mumbai Indians reach a score of 191 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Their bowlers then delivered the goods to restrict the Kings XI Punjab to a score of 143/8, thereby registering a comfortable 48-run victory.
Published 02 Oct 2020, 10:48 IST