Such was their plight, that spinner Pawan Negi was preferred over the likes of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini, to bowl the penultimate over of the match. After yet another loss RCB skipper Virat Kohli backed his decision of bowling a spinner in a crunch situation.
“At the end, we had to take the risk with the left-arm spinner, with two right-handed batsmen. Giving pace was risky, especially with a bit of dew. Unfortunately, it didn't come off,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
“We played a pretty good game I guess. With the ball, we weren't that great in the first six overs but the guys fought hard in the middle overs and came back well,” he added.
All-rounder Moeen Ali did try to swing things in RCB’s favour by bagging two crucial wickets of Quinton De Kock and Rohit Sharma. And that effort garnered him praise from Kohli.
“He's (Moeen) been outstanding for us, striking the ball well and bowling with a lot of heart. It's good to see a senior player taking responsibility and he deserves all the credit.”
The match also saw Hardik Pandya bludgeoning 22 runs in Negi’s over to seal victory for Mumbai. To this Mumbai skipper Rohit said, “Hardik’s hitting has been helping the team and him as well, to move forward. This is something he wanted to do because he didn't have a lot of time before coming to the IPL. So he wanted to prove a point with bat and ball, to himself more than anyone else.
“The way he is hitting, it gives us confidence as a team that there is someone who can hit that well at the end and win crucial games.”
Rohit was also praise for veteran Lasith Malinga who bagged four important wickets in his spell.
“Lasith's performance matters a lot to us. We missed him for a few games. His form is very critical for Mumbai. Trust me, with all that he has done over the years, bowling at the death at the Wankhede is very difficult.
“Credit goes to the bowlers in general for restricting a good RCB batting line-up to 170 odd.”
First Published: April 16, 2019, 6:45 AM IST