When the Indian Premier League 2020 started in the United Arab Emirates on September 19, the conditions favoured the side that batted first. At the onset of winter, the dew factor has been throwing challenges to the bowlers in the second innings and the games are slipping.
Ahead of the playoffs, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma wants to leave no stone unturned to fight the obstacles. “Clearly, we have seen the change in trend. First half of the tournament saw the team batting first and defending that score but now, it is cooler and the dew is coming in. We understand that but you got to come out and execute your skills even with the wet ball.
“You need to make sure that you keep changing your attitude, have that belief that no matter what the conditions are, you can still get the job done. As long as you plan well and strategise well, you can get the results,” he told reporters after the 10-wicket loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma returned to action for the final league game of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. – BCCI/IPL
Though the Mumbai middle-order collapsed against Sunrisers, Kieron Pollard’s late strike [41 off 25 balls] lifted them to 149 for the loss of eight wickets. Later, the bowlers had difficulty gripping the ball while defending; David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha’s invincible approach snatched the game away from the defending champion.
“We were not expecting this result. It’s probably our worst performance of the season and we want to leave this right here. We wanted to try different combinations and it clearly didn’t work out for us. It is a good learning for us and it is good to know your bench strength also,” said Rohit.
The importance of Bumrah and Boult
Mumbai decided to rest strike bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult in the last league game and their absence actually underlined their importance.
“These two guys are wicket-taking bowlers. They have come out really good for us as and when we required to get that breakthrough, they have done that for us. We have missed them today but we had to manage their workload. It was important. They have been playing consistently and the travel from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah doesn’t make it easier. We wanted to give them a few days off so that they are ready for the playoffs,” he said.
Rohit declared he has recovered from the hamstring injury and that Hardik Pandya is also fit and raring to go. “Hardik is fine fitness-wise. We just wanted to give him a break. He will be ready for the playoffs.”
“We have been in the playoffs before and we understand the pressure. It will be a different ball game. We were not good with the bat today, we made a lot of mistakes. We need to be smart in our shot selection.”
Mumbai Indians plays Dubai in the first qualifiers in Dubai on Thursday.