Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma expressed his disappointment with his side’s batting performance against Punjab Kings (PBKS). He said that his batters didn't apply themselves enough on the challenging Chennai surface.
MI lost to PBKS by nine wickets, which marked their second consecutive defeat in the tournament. Sent in to bat first, the defending champions managed 131 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs. Even in their previous encounter against the Delhi Capitals (DC), MI could only score 137 and suffered a big defeat.
Captain Rohit Sharma has done well, scoring 201 runs at an average of 40.2 while striking at over 130 this season. However, the MI batting has struggled on the Chennai surface in all five games, barely crossed the 150-run mark in their first three games.
Rohit Sharma rued in this regard in the post-match presentation:
“Not enough runs. I still feel it is not a bad wicket to bat on. You saw how the Punjab Kings batted and won the game with nine wickets in hand. It is just the application that is missing in our batting. If you get 150-160 on this wicket, you are always in the game; we failed to do that in the last two games. You can look at it either way, I thought their bowlers bowled well in the powerplay, Ishan Kishan was trying to hit but couldn’t get it, and even I was not able to hit.
The MI captain continued in this regard:
“We have batted well in the powerplay previously, but today we failed to do so. Something is missing in our batting line-up; we have not been able to bat 20 overs in the fashion we want to; this is something we have to look at and see what we can do".
For PBKS, their unbeaten second-wicket partnership of 79 runs between KL Rahul (60*) and Chris Gayle (43)* saw the team home.
Ishan Kishan at no. 3 was a tactical move: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma called the move to promote Ishan Kishan to no. 3 as a tactical move. However, that didn’t work out, as the left-hander struggled in the powerplay, scoring just six runs off 17 balls.
Considering that Suryakumar Yadav is a better player of spin bowling, the team management wanted him to play in the middle overs.
“It was just a tactical thing (promoting Ishan Kishan). We wanted someone who would bat well against the spinners in the middle, and we identified Suryakumar (Yadav) as the one to do that," said Rohit Sharma.
The MI captain continued:
“But when you play on such a challenging pitch, you have to be ready for all the possibilities. When you try, if it works, it looks good, and if it doesn’t work, then it looks bad, but we always back the decision we make. There’s no one person who makes a decision; it’s the entire unit."
Despite Rohit Sharma's 52-ball 63, MI lost for the third time in five matches this season and remain in fourth spot in the points table.
The defending champions now have a six-day break before flying to Delhi to face the Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Thursday.