Mumbai Indians pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile praised opener Ishan Kishan after the left-hander's 25-ball 50 took them to a thumping eight-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday. Kishan was benched for two matches after a series of low scores, but found form in a must-win match to keep MI's play-offs hopes alive.
"It was only a matter of time before Ish found form. He was obviously smashing runs before the IPL and today was a great game for him. I think Quinny (De Kock) sitting out helped free up the opening for him as he is someone who plays the big shots," he said in a post-match press conference.
Coutler-Nile was pick of the Mumbai bowlers with 4-14 as they restricted Royals to 90/9 in 20 overs. The Australian credited his fellow pacers for keeping up the pressure which resulted in wickets.
"It was important for us all to bowl well. Boulty (Trent Boult), Bumrah, Neesh (James Neesham), all bowled well and were responsible for keeping the pressure on. I was lucky to get wickets, tomorrow it can be anyone. It's good as long as we bowl as a unit," he said.
The 33-year old, who has played only two games in the second leg so far, felt that it is important for the entire squad to be match-ready.
"In IPL everywhere the bench strength is really strong. Its full of quality in every team. Quinton de Kock was on the bench today. Chris Lynn and Adam Milne, who are among the best players in Australia were not even at the ground. Even the training sessions are of high quality so you have keep yourself ready even if you are not playing every game," Coulter-Nile said.
Batters have consistently found it difficult to score runs at Sharjah in IPL 2021 as only two matches saw totals above 150. Rajasthan Royals' director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara refused to blame the slow pitch as he felt the team didn't adapt to the conditions well.
"This is not a great T20 pitch in terms of scoring runs, but they challenge a player's flexibility and mindset. So, playing on these pitches sometimes is not a bad idea. Let's see how it turns out at the T20 World Cup," Sangakkara said.
"You can say that we could've won the toss and chased. The plan for us was to make runs in the Powerplay and we were 41/1. We wanted to extend it till 13-14 overs with at least seven wickets in hand. Unfortunately, Mumbai bowled very well and we lost too many wickets. The fault lies more with us than with the pitch or the toss," the Sri Lankan great said.