Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma was a much relieved man on Saturday (30th April), which also happened to be his 35th birthday, as he talked about his side’s first win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
There was finally some light for MI at the end of the big tunnel as they defeated Rajasthan Royals (RR) to win their first match of the season. After losing eight consecutive matches, the Rohit-led side put on a clinical effort with both and ball to win the match by 5 wickets.
Bowling first, after winning the toss, they made RR batters struggle with their timing. Only Orange Cap holder Jos Buttler looked in sync as he scored 67 runs whereas no other batter could cross the 22-run mark. A superlative effort by MI bowlers restricted the Sanju Samson-led side to a total of 158 runs.
Chasing the target, MI came out with positive intent. Even though they lost skipper Rohit (2) and Ishan Kishan (26) early, a half-century by Suryakumar Yadav and 35 runs from Tilak Varma kept them in the game. Tim David (20*) then provided the finishing touches as they won the match with 4 balls to spare.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Rohit Sharma said he’ll take this win as his birthday present as his side’s real potential came out and they kept applying pressure on the opposition.
"I'd definitely take it. That's how we play, real potential came out today, with the ball especially. They kept applying the pressure. If you keep taking wickets, it's going to be difficult for them, we did that perfectly today," he said.
While talking about the team combination, Sharma said that in a season where almost nothing has gone their way, they wanted to try so many things, which didn’t work in the eight games for them.
“This is the team we played in the first couple of games except few bowling changes. When you have a season like that, you are not sure of your combination. You want to try out so many things.
“The conditions are different. The ball tends to grip here, the pitches are flat in the other venues. We try and field the best combination, it hasn't worked for eight games,” he said.
Rohit said that it was a season of a near misses for them as they never were blown away by the opposition and lost matches in close situations.
"But one thing I can say is, we were not blown away by the opposition, we came really close. Had we won those games, things would have been slightly different," he said.
Mumbai Indians will next face Gujarat Titans on Friday (6th May) at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.