IPL 2021: Rohit Sharma backs MI's bowlers, MS Dhoni rues CSK's dropped catches for a thrilling loss
Mumbai Indians is the record five-time defending champion of the Indian Premier League, having won it all under Rohit Sharma's leadership. Chennai Super Kings is a former three-time champion under MS Dhoni, winning its last title in 2018.
Defending champion Mumbai Indians displayed great resilience with the bat to tame former champion Chennai Super Kings by four wickets in a thrilling fashion in Match 27 of the 2021 Indian Premier League at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Saturday. With this win, MI stays in the playoffs race, consolidating the fourth position, while CSK stays atop the table.
The game was highlighted for being a high-scoring one, with CSK batsman going big in the opening innings and handing MI a tough target of 219. However, thanks to all-rounder Kieron Pollard's blistering innings of an unbeaten 87, MI did not give up, as the champion managed to sneak past in a final-ball thriller.
Meanwhile, the concern arose that MI's prime bowlers were hit aplenty, especially in the game's closing stages. However, MI skipper Rohit Sharma affirmed that the side's core bowling group would be backed at all times, while it becomes difficult at times to bowl appropriately and they are under pressure to bowl at smaller grounds.
"It suits our style of play, and yes, the bowlers will be under pressure, but that's where you back the bowlers. There will be games where the bowlers will go for runs, but it's important to back your core group of bowlers. I know it's always tough for the bowlers on a good pitch and smaller ground. We wanted to stay positive once we finished 20 overs," Rohit reckoned after the game.
"We got a good start and saw what happened. I mean, we just had a brief chat and said it was a good pitch. We had shot-makers in our batting line-up and we just wanted to take the game in the end. Brilliant partnership at the top and Krunal-Polly partnership was also there. We backed Krunal and he's coming off good form in domestic cricket," Rohit added.
Meanwhile, CSK skipper MS Dhoni stated that his side failed to administer the plans correctly, besides rueing again that dropped catches don't win you matches. Furthermore, he hailed Delhi's wicket as a brilliant and proper one for Twenty20 cricket.
"It was a brilliant wicket. The difference was the execution. Not being too tough on bowlers, we dropped catches at crucial intervals. The bowlers would execute better and learn from this. If you look (at) how it went, we were very off target when it came to execution. It is important to do that. The wicket was easy to hit," Dhoni wondered.
"In a tournament like this, you will win and lose a few close games. When you are under the pump, you learn a lot. Irrespective (of) where we are in the points table, we take one game at a time. We hardly ever focus where we are standing on the table. That has been our good point along the way," Dhoni concluded.
Winning the toss and electing to bowl, MI might have thought that the decision was a bad idea. CSK batsmen Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu nailed it with their respective half-centuries, posting a monstrous target of 219. Nonetheless, in reply, Pollard anchored the innings with an unbeaten 87, as subtle contributions from others helped MI pull off a final-ball thriller and win it by four wickets.
Brief scores: CSK 218/4 (Du Plessis- 50, Moeen- 58, Rayudu- 72*; Pollard- 2/12) vs MI 219/6 (De Kock- 38, Rohit- 35, Krunal- 32, Pollard- 87*; Curran- 3/34) by four wickets.
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