MI batted with eye on D/L initially: Sharma
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said rain interruptions during their runchase against Delhi Daredevils helped his team regain focus as they changed tactics after batting with an eye on the D/L formula initially in the crucial IPL game.
“Actually the (initial) plan was that from the fifth over we had to be ahead of that (D/L par) mark. We wanted to be ahead of the game. But it’s quite unusual, the weather,” said Sharma after MI notched up a five-wicket win to keep themselves on course for a play-off berth.
“Being from Mumbai I knew the drizzle won’t last, but that too was a gamble. Which is why once we got back again (after the second interruption) we wanted to bat normally and that’s what we did. Thankfully rain did not interrupt after that,” he added.
Play was interrupted after four overs due to lightening when Mumbai were 25 for 2 with Lendl Simmons (0) and Hardik Pandya (5) having already returned to the pavillion.
Play resumed after a short while, but rain halted it again after 5.2 overs when Mumbai were 40 for 3.
When play resumed after half an hour, Sharma (36 off 37 balls) and Ambati Rayudu (49 not out) paved the way for the successful run-chase of the target of 153 with a run-a-ball stand of 60.
After Sharma was dismissed, Rayudu and Kieron Pollard, who blasted three huge sixes in his 14-ball 26 not out, added 53 runs for the sixth wicket to help MI romp home with three balls to spare. Sharma said the rain interruptions, lasting a total of over an hour, helped his team in regaining some focus and decide to ignore the D/L targets.“To be honest we were under pressure. The break helped.
We had lost four wickets before the break. We decided to play normal cricket and not think about D/L par score or anything like that. (We decided) If the rain comes, it comes, can’t do much about that. “The wicket was really nice to bat on. After the ball got wet it was coming on nicely. We knew we had to have wickets on hand. When I got out, there was still Pollard and other guys as well. We knew we had some more batting to come in Suchith and Vinay. As captain I can’t lose hope if I get out, I have to stay positive,” he added.
Sharma also praised veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who returned with brilliant figures of 2/11 in his four overs. “The way he’s been bowling throughout the tournament has been superb. He’s such an experienced player and exactly knows what to do. He’s been good for us, taking wickets, containing runs. It’s always important that one of your senior members in the bowling unit doing so well.