On a roll after registering their fifth win on the trot, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma said Thursday’s 8-wicket win against Kings XI Punjab, will give the team the kind of momentum they needed heading into the business end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017.
“So hopefully we can continue our winning streak. The good thing we’ve done is focussing on one particular opposition and we are going to do that again,”
Chasing a mammoth 199, Mumbai rode on destructive half centuries from Englishman Jos Buttler and young Nitish Rana to thrash the hosts by eight wickets with more than four overs to spare at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here.
“Incredible game to be part of. Something which reminded me of 2014, when we chased 190 against Rajasthan Royals in 14 overs,” Rohit said after the match.
“To be able to chase this target in 15.3 overs is fantastic. The way Jos and Parthiv batted at the start was magnificent. That’s the kind of firepower we have. Parthiv is coming off a great domestic season and he’s taken that confidence into IPL. That’s the kind of start we required chasing 199.”
Rohit also praised South African star Hashim Amla, who fired his maiden T20 hundred (104 not out of 60 balls) to set the tone for Kings XI Punjab’s mammoth 198/4 in the first innings.
“Amla played one of the finest knocks we would ever see but we finished up really well. When we came back to the change room the talk was that the ground is small and we have the batters to do it. That was pretty evident in the first six overs,” he said.
Rohit, however brushed aside any concerns with the bowlers, who were taken to the cleaners by Punjab skipper Glenn Maxwell and Amla in the later part of the innings.
“Not really it’s something which we have to look into. They are proven match winners and they have done it for years, even in international cricket it’s a lot of pressure, it’s always challenging. It’s just about backing them and the management does that,” he said.
“They will come good. It’s just the first half of the tournament, the second half becomes crucial, the table keeps changing so you have to be on the money, you can’t lose momentum,” he added.
Englishman Buttler, who struck form with a 37-ball 77, said the wicket was perfect for his kind of stroke play and more satisfying as he was desperate to get back among the runs.
“Found really good touch in the tournament, been desperate to kick on, nice to put in a contribution. Striking the ball well, it’s a small ground and a fantastic wicket,” said Buttler, who was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
“Luckily we won the toss, you’d think 200 was a really good score. I think today, chasing that kind of total was great for me because I could go from ball one without thinking. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself, trying too hard to score the runs. Today, when you’re chasing a big score, you can relax and play your shots. Keep a still base and do the rest,” he added.