Bengaluru, Sept. 23: After a disappointing five-wicket loss in the first game of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Mumbai Indians bounced right back with a 49-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Rohit Sharma led the defending champions to a solid total of 195. The Mumbai opener’s match-winning 80 off 54 and a good show by the bowlers, saw former champs KKR fall to a dismal loss.
Moreover, the Mumbai Indians overcame their loss record in the UAE, registering a convincing win over KKR. After finally securing a win in the UAE the skipper, who was in rampaging form, said during the post match presentation, "Only two players from the squad that lost five matches here in 2014. It is all about executing plans, which we did. We were always ahead of the game, but it was all about being ruthless.”
Rohit also added that the hot and humid conditions weren’t easy to play in. “It is not easy to play long innings here. It takes a lot out of you to play in these conditions. Maybe I was a bit tired in the end and it was a lesson for us that one set batsmen needs to bat deep till the end,” said Rohit.
Rohit, who led from the front, hit six huge maximums, and with that the skipper has scored 200 sixes in the tournament. Talking about his performance on the day, the Mumbai opener said that six months with the game was a long time and he was glad that the Mumbai team clicked on the day.
“I am pretty confident playing the pull shot, I love playing that shot, and I am pretty glad that it came off. Six months is a long time without cricket. I was looking to get some time in the middle. Didn't come off in the first game, but glad it did today,” said the Man-of-the-match winner.
The Mumbai team came up with a good show as a unit and talking about his team’s efforts, the skipper said, “Our pace attack was strong because we planned for Wankhede. Having come here, it did enough for the fast bowlers as well. My job becomes easy if you have such players on the team. It is not easy to play long innings here. Towards the end I just wanted to stay still and hit. Again it is a learning for all of us that once you are in it is the responsibility of the set batsman to bat as deep as you can."
Meanwhile, after losing their opening game of the season, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik admitted the Knights were rusty in their opening game. “Pretty rusty day to be honest. Don't want to be too analytical about it. The boys know where they need to get better.
“Pat Cummins and Morgan just finished their quarantine today. So it is not easy to come in and play in this heat,” said the KKR skipper.