Rohit Sharma wanted to send in Nehal Wadhera at No. 3 to keep the left-right combination going but Suryakumar Yadav went up to him and said he wants to go in next, and what happened next was simply mesmerising. The top-ranked T20I batter smoked 103* off 49 deliveries - his maiden Indian Premier League hundred - and helped Mumbai Indians get a crucial win over Gujarat Titans on Friday (May 12).
“The guy (SKY) has got the confidence. We wanted to keep right-left combination but SKY came in and said no, he wanted to go in. That is the kind of confidence he has and that rubs off on others. Every game he wants to start fresh and does not look back at the previous game. Sometimes you can sit back and feel proud about what you have done but that is not the case with him,” said Rohit after Mumbai won by 27 runs and climbed to the third spot on the points table.
The right-handed batter slammed 11 fours and six maximums during his stay in the middle and helped Mumbai amass 218/5 in 20 overs. As a result, Mumbai became the first team to score 200 against GT while batting first. SKY was named Player of the Match and the 32-year-old said all he does while batting is express himself.
“Whenever I get runs I think the team should win, most importantly we batted first today and said that we would keep the same tempo when you are chasing 200-220. There was a lot of dew on the ground, it was there from the 7-8th over and I knew what shots to play. I was not thinking about hitting straight, I had two shots in the mind - one over fine leg and one over third man. There is lots and lots of practice before the game, so when I come into the game I am very clear and just go express myself,” said SKY.
Mumbai could have easily won this game by 70-80 runs if not for Rashid Khan. GT skipper Hardik Pandya said Rashid was the only player who turned up in this game and he couldn’t be more right. The ace legspinner first claimed 4/30 and then clobbered 79* off 32 deliveries, studded with three fours and 10 maximums, to help GT recover from 103/8 to 191/8 in their 20 overs.
“Felt like from our team only he (Rashid) turned up. The way he batted, the way he bowled, it was tremendous,” said Pandya. “As a group we weren't there. In bowling also we were very flat. Didn't have clear plans or didn't execute. Wicket was very flat but I felt we gave 25 runs extra. We lacked a lot of execution and heart. That cost us the game. The intensity was also flat. Expected things to happen, but everyone knows at this level it doesn't just happen.”