Why Didn’t Hardik Pandya Bowl In Last 2 IPL Games? Mumbai Indians Skipper Gives Honest Reply

Hardik Pandya cannot thank Mumbai Indians management enough for their empathy, love and care which kept the team going even after losing the first three games under his captaincy and having to face the unfair wrath from home fans. His return to Mumbai Indians as captain, replacing their five-time IPL-winning skipper Rohit Sharma, did not sit well with fans as he faced constant booing during first three games, including the previous one at the Wankhede. The three losses to start the season added to the woes and Pandya found himself under intense scrutiny. “There was a lot of love and care going around, everyone knows we lost three games but the belief and backing was there, everyone believes we needed just one win and today was the start,” Pandya said at the post-match presentation following their 29-run win over Delhi Capitals.

“It was a lot of hard work. We had to clear our minds and make sure that we believed,” said the skipper as his team played the first game after six-day break.

Batting at No 7, Guyanese all-rounder Romario Shepherd single-handedly took the match out of DC’s reach, smashing Anrich Nortje for 32 runs in the last over.

“That was some hitting,” he said about Romario’s 39 not out from 10 balls.

“He won us the game. Difference was Romario versus Delhi Capitals. I like him. Always has a smile on his face, doesn’t run away,” he said.

MI have finally got their combination right and this is the way forward, said Hardik.

“We will be making tactical changes here and there but this will be our 12 and settling our team now is important.”

Hardik was not seen bowling in the past two games and the star India all-rounder said he would bowl at the “right time”.

“I am fine. I’ll be bowling at the right time, we had everything covered today so did not have to roll my arms over,” he said.

Shepherd approached with a clear mind and said his hard work at the nets has “paid off”.

“My hard work has paid off. I have put in a lot of hard work in the nets. I think you just have to keep a clear mind (when batting at the end).

“He (Tim David) said no you stay there (strike) and you hit. I was in a good position to capitalise on that ball.”

Need to improve death over bowling: Pant

For Delhi Capitals, this was their fourth loss from five matches as they languish at the bottom of the standings and skipper Rishabh Pant blamed it on their poor batting and death overs bowling. Anrich Nortje gave away 32 runs in the final over which cost DC the game.

“The bowlers needed to bowl into the wicket, slower ones and the variations were important. The bowlers needed to understand the conditions well. I think we need to improve on a few areas — death-over bowling and our batting as well.” Delhi Capitals imposing chase of 235 was ignited by Tristan Stubbs 71 not out from 25 balls. But he lacked support at the other end.

“Definitely, we were in contention, but we didn’t have enough runs in the batting powerplay, especially when you’re chasing such a big score.

“We batted well in the next few overs, but it’s not easy to constantly score 15 runs per over for many overs. Yes, we had a few bad overs (with the ball), but it does happen at times,” Pant said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Newsbust India staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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