Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma agreed that his team didn’t play to their potential in the first three games on resumption while his Punjab Kings opposite number KL Rahul had no hesitation in admitting that his team is not handling pressure situations well enough. MI beat Punjab Kings by six wickets after three back-to-back defeats and are now back in play-off contentions with 10 points from 11 games.
“We do agree that we didn't play to our potential, but it’s a long tournament and we need to stick to our plans and reading the situations is very important and we can take a lot of confidence from that. It is important not to lose the guard,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
He was all praise for Hardik Pandya, who finally returned to form with a 40 not out off 30 balls. “The way he (Hardik) understood the situation was very crucial from a team’s perspective, it's important for him to spend the time in the middle as he’s coming back from an injury.”
Kung-fu Pandya rising to the occasion https://t.co/dIiEwQU8cV
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 28, 2021
Rahul, on his part, seemed disappointed when asked about whether his young team is unable to cope up with pressure situations. “It is what it is, we haven’t been able to handle the pressure. We’ll learn more if we play more together as a team,” Rahul said.
“We need to be positive. We have three games, so we need to take one game at a time. We need to go out there and enjoy ourselves. All our games in the UAE have gone down to the wire, hopefully we can build on that.”
He also accepted that 135 was not a defendable target on this track. “It was a great fight, but 135 was not enough on this pitch. We should have got about 170. The boys showed a lot of fight with the ball, we have done that two games in a row. The next three games will be interesting for us as the table looks interesting,” Rahul said.
Rohit said that it was a tough call to drop someone like Ishan Kishan but the team will back him as he tried to get back to form. “It’s a tough call (on dropping Ishan Kishan). Saurabh (Tiwary) has played the perfect role today and he’s done well to nudge around in the middle overs. We are going to back him (Ishan Kishan) as he’s a very important player for us.”
(with PTI inputs)