Hyderabad: Mumbai Indians are the side who are known to start the season slowly and hit the full throttle from the half-way stage. However, this year has been different with the Rohit Sharma-led side on cruise mode from the word go. They are at the top of the table with six wins from eight games and set to grab a playoffs berth.
However, their man of the match in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday Quinton de Kock said that they are not thinking about the playoffs yet and are firmly focused on playing the best cricket. Speaking after their victory, which was aided by all-rounder bowling performance and his unbeaten 78-run knock, the wicketkeeper batsman from South Africa said, “No, there is no preparation for playoffs yet. We are taking every game as it comes. We are not thinking too far ahead. Whatever happens, we have to keep it simple and play to our strengths. Whether we get to playoffs or not, it is not really controllable but we are focused on playing our best cricket.”
MI restricted the Eoin Morgan-led KKR to modest 148/5 before cruising to victory in 16.5 overs. MI’s leggie Rahul Chahar once again bowled well taking two wickets for 18 in his four overs. Speaking on Rahul, he said, “He is a player who backs himself. He knows his strengths. If he has a bad game, he works hard and comes back stronger.”
Meanwhile, KKR, who announced the change in captaincy with Morgan replacing Dinesh Karthik hours before the match, failed to change their fortunes as their top order came a cropper. At 61/5 in the 11th over, things looked pretty bad before Morgan (39 not out) and Pat Cummins (53 not out) bailed out the team with an 87-run partnership.
Morgan conceded that their batting unit failed to execute their plans. “With the batting early on, we made a few mistakes. Mumbai Indians bowled really well and proved exactly why they have been one of the form teams in the tournament so far. We’re just past the half-way stage in the tournament. There is no better time to turn things around,” said Morgan.
On constant change in the batting order of the players, he said, “Given the strength and depth we have in our batting-line, and the different skill-levels and skill-sets that we have, we have to be as adaptable as possible going forward. With playing against different opposition, there are different match-ups that we feel we can make the most of our batting line-up, and hence the continued change in the order,” he said.
On change in captaincy mid-way through the tournament, he said, “Within a team of leaders, given that myself and Dinesh were leaders in captain and vice-captain, I think there will be a smooth transition from here. It took a lot of courage for DK and actually quite a lot of selflessness to come forward and recognise within himself that he wanted to focus on his batting and take the vice captaincy up. Therefore, I became captain and it is a great opportunity for me to lead the team.”
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