Skipper Rohit Sharma has said that the Mumbai Indians’ batted well but could not hold their nerves which resulted in a couple of crucial run-outs that eventually led to their 12-run defeat to Punjab Kings in Match 23 of IPL 2022 at the MCA Stadium here.
Invited to bat first, brilliant fifties by Shikhar Dhawan (70 off 50) and Mayank Agarwal (52 off 32) powered Punjab Kings to 198/5 in 20 overs. Apart from Shikhar and Mayank’s superb hitting at the top, Jitesh Sharma (30 off 15) and Shahrukh Khan (15 not out off 6) gave a late flourish to Punjab’s innings at lower down the order.
In response, Mumbai Indians were reduced to 32/2 after 4.1 overs but recovered well thanks to a big partnership between two youngsters — Tilak Varma (36 off 20) and Dewald Brevis (49 off 25) — to be to 105/2 at the end of the 10th over. Suryakumar Yadav (43) then propelled them further towards the target before he was out in the 19th over and Mumbai Indians eventually finished at 186/9 to lose by 12 runs.
Sharma said the untimely run-outs of Tilak Varma and seasoned batter Kieron Pollard (10) harmed his team’s chances.
“I thought we played the game pretty well, came pretty close towards the back end of our batting innings. It’s just that a couple of crucial run-outs there were not needed, but that happens. At one stage we were cruising through and keeping up with the run rate as well, but in the end, we couldn’t hold our nerves. Credit to Kings with the way they bowled at the back end,” Sharma said after the match on Wednesday night.
After losing four matches in a row, Mumbai Indians reshuffled their batting order for the clash with Punjab Kings but in the end, a win still eluded them. Sharma said by changing the batting order by sending Dewald Brevis at No. 3, the team was trying different things.
“If you’re not winning games, you’ve got to try to find a way you can succeed as a team as a batting group. So we’re trying to find different ideas, different thought processes. It doesn’t seem to be working at the moment but I don’t want to take anything away from the guys.
“We fought pretty well. We batted brilliantly, but they held their nerves pretty good, the Kings, and they won the game,” he said.
Sharma said the reason for Mumbai Indians’ current predicament is that they have not been playing good cricket for a while. Mumbai had missed the play-offs spot in IPL 2021 and the way things are going, getting into the top four looks like an uphill task for this season too.
“We’ve been not playing good cricket for a while and that’s why we’ve been on the losing side, simple as that. The Kings batted pretty well up front and put pressure on our bowlers, got a 90-100 run partnership to begin with. But I thought 190+ was chaseable on that pitch because that pitch was really good to bat on as you saw when we were batting as well,” he added.
Sharma said the only thing left for them now is that they “just have to go back and see what we do as a team.”