Abu Dhabi, September 24
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma admitted that sapping conditions in the UAE made it difficult to bat for long duration and that’s the reason he felt a bit tired by the end of his match-winning knock against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Skipper Rohit starred with a 54-ball 80 to help defending champions Mumbai Indians to a 49-run win over KKR in their second IPL game.
“It is not easy to play long innings here. It takes a lot out of you to play in these conditions. Maybe I was a bit tired in the end and it was a lesson for us that one set batsman needs to bat deep till the end,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“We’ve seen it in the past and that’s what I tried to do,” he added.
While the heat and humidity made it difficult but it was imperative to bat as long as possible after a six-month break, Rohit said, adding: “I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight.”
During his stay in the middle, he played the pull shots to perfection and hit a couple of sixes.
“I back myself to play the pull shots and have practised quite a bit. Pretty happy with the performance of my squad. All my shots were good (laughs), can’t pick one,” he said.
Talking about his bowling attack, Rohit said it was made keeping Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium in mind.
“We never knew that the IPL would happen in the UAE so we wanted a pace attack that was strong for the Wankhede. But the ball was seaming around for the first six overs over here as well. We haven’t played much with Trent Boult and (James) Pattinson, but it was good that we were on the same page,” Rohit said.
The result meant MI ended their winless streak in the UAE.
“Only two players (remained) from the squad that lost five matches here in 2014. It is all about executing plans, which we did,” Rohit said, adding: “We were always ahead of the game, but it was all about being ruthless.”
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik said his team was rusty in their IPL opener.
“Pretty rusty day to be honest. Don’t want to be too analytical about it. The boys know where they need to get better. Pat Cummins and Morgan just finished their quarantine today. So it is not easy to come in and play in this heat,” he said.
Boult said he too was not comfortable playing in these conditions.
“I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable in these heat and conditions. It’s a big challenge to bowl against the likes of Morgan and Russell but it’s nice to come out on the winning side tonight,” he said.
“I have been bowling back in New Zealand and it’s the winter there, that’s been the biggest challenge but everyone is excited to have cricket around.” PTI