On Tuesday, Mumbai Indians (MI) turned the tables against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their second match of IPL 2021 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Batting first, the Mumbai-based franchise could only post 152 on board in their allotted 20 overs. Suryakumar Yadav was the highest scorer for MI with 56 runs off 36 balls including seven fours and two sixes.
KKR were looking to comfortably win the game with their openers Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill sharing a 72 run stand. While Rana scored a 47-ball 47, Gill blasted off by scoring 33 runs off 27 balls.
However, their innings was halted due to continuous breakthroughs provided by leg-spinner Rahul Chahar at decent intervals.
Chahar cleared the KKR top order by taking the first four batsmen in their batting order. He removed Gill, Rana, Rahul Tripathi and Eoin Morgan. Thus, the youngster laid the pressure on the lower order of the Kolkata-based franchise
KKR came as close as needing 31 runs off five overs with six wickets in hand but couldn’t finish the game on a high note and lost by ten runs.
In the post-match conference, Chahar, when asked about Rohit Sharma’s advice during the game, responded that the MI captain only asked him to turn the ball. He backed the leg-break bowler and asked him to bowl with full confidence. Chahar also revealed that even the veteran Indian opener sometimes struggles to pick up his balls.
He (Rohit Sharma) didn’t say much. He always tells me that bowl with full confidence as you are a very good bowler. He tells me that he sometimes struggles to pick some balls when he bats against me in the nets. He asked to keep the focus and try to turn the ball,” Chahar said.
The Bharatpur-born lad went on to add that he had the confidence to turn the match since he knew only a spinner could do so on Chepauk’s spin-friendly wicket.“I knew that in this match, if someone had to turn things around then, it had to be a spinner. I had the confidence in myself,” added Chahar.
Talking about the field placements, Rahul said Rohit had set up an aggressive field that gave them a psychological advantage.
“Yes, we get a psychological upper hand. Rohit Sharma employed a slip and close-in fielder to Andre Russell). Even when I was bowling to Rahul Tripathi, we had 2 covers and a slip. Even for Eoin Morgan, we had a slip and a leg slip. It shows we are attacking and confident.”
The Rajasthan cricketer bagged the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his outstanding performance of 27 for 4 in his allotted four overs.
MI will play their next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on April 17 at the same venue.