‘Loving it within the time of corona…’

Dubai, November 11

An insatiable hunger to succeed, the willingness to put in the extra yards and extensive work on the basics culminated in an unprecedented fifth IPL title for Mumbai Indians, their players have said. “Mumbai have a great set-up, so we’ve been able to move with the gym work and training and stuff. We’re reaping the rewards today for it. It’s a great feeling,” opener Quinton de Kock said. “I think this year, because there were so many questions around Mumbai in general, whether we can win back to back, we put in extra effort. You can see it’s paid off. We worked extra hard on the nitty-gritties.”

Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya after the win. PTI

If last year’s one-run win over Chennai Super Kings was an absolute cliffhanger, skipper Rohit Sharma’s fluent 68 made it a walk in the park this year for Mumbai as they chased down the target of 157 in 18.4 overs. “It’s a great feeling. I’ve been here 11 years, fifth trophy. No one sees the planning and training, it’s pressure playing for a franchise like this,” said MI veteran Kieron Pollard. “The amount of trophies, the amount of work, the amount of players who go on to play for their countries, I think we’ll have to say so (that this is the best T20 franchise).”

The older of the Pandya brothers, Krunal, pinned it on the hunger of the players. “It’s the hunger. The way we went about the games, there was always 100 per cent. A lot of credit goes to how we prepared. One month before we came, everyone knew their roles,” said Krunal Pandya. “Everyone was in good shape, just executing what they were doing in the nets.”

Another MI star, Suryakumar Yadav, attributed the success to preparation and following the processes. “Preparations, processes and routine is important. The team just said one thing — ‘We’ll take care of this. You go and express yourself’,” Yadav said.

Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah said the title is very special because of the tough circumstances the tournament was played in, due to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have worked very hard, we started preparing much earlier before other teams,” said Bumrah. “We worked through processes, all of which has got us a lot of results. We wanted to break the jinx of winning every alternative years — the goal has been achieved now. The pandemic has been such a shock, everyone have been stuck at home.” — Agencies

Young guns

Two unheralded young batsmen, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, with 516 and 480 runs, respectively, were the enforcers for Mumbai Indians this season. MI captain Rohit Sharma was generous in his praise for both. In the final, the 22-year-old Kishan smashed an unbeaten 33 off 19 balls, while Yadav was run out for 19 when he sacrificed his wicket to save Sharma, who had taken off for a tight run. “Surya and Kishan have been superb with the bat, we saw the results on the ground, they played with a lot of freedom,” Sharma said. “They are very talented in shot-making. It was important for us to give them freedom, the owners also gave them real confidence to go out there and express themselves.”

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