Mumbai Indians’ coach Mahela Jayawardene revealed why Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya were sent ahead of Ishan Kishan in the Super Over, after their loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday, 28 September.
“Anyone could see that he (Ishan Kishan) was very tired at that moment and we were thinking that we probably need a couple of fresh guys who can go and hit the ball.” He said that it was easy to say anything in hindsight but Pollard and Hardik have done the job for MI in the past and the two experienced players are capable of hitting the long ball.
Mahela applauded the 22-year old Ishan Kishan for his splendid knock, playing his first game of this IPL season and also talked about the role they wanted him to play after losing early wickets.
“During the middle period, we just wanted to make sure that he bats through the innings. We knew that we could put their bowling under pressure. And, he did that brilliantly, he took his chances, played some really good shots.”
On the importance of having a Pollard (experienced player) batting alongside an Ishan (youngster) and guiding him through the innings, the 43-year old said that not just the innings, generally their team composition is such where they have a core group of players along with some youngsters coming through.
Mahela also shared his thoughts on the Super Over, he said, “We had literally three dots (including the wicket ball) so that’s a killer for you. We knew we needed to play some smart shots, get that early boundary away, yes we had one, but a couple of boundaries would have helped especially when Boom (Jasprit Bumrah) comes into bowl.”
When asked about the positives MI would take from that game, Jayawardene said that the fact that they can win the games from any situation was the biggest positive. But simultaneously he mentioned that there were learnings too.
He said that they lacked a little bit with their bowling execution and also in their batting, the batters didn’t pace the innings in the first 10 overs. But, he said that there were quite a few positives and they almost won the game and since it was just the third game, he was happy with his side’s progress.
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