Talking to the mediapersons after the team’s 10-run triumph over Mumbai Indians, JP Duminy gave a lot of credit to the bowlers and said, “I think probably with five overs to go in our bowling innings, the game was still in balance, they needed about 51 of 30. At this ground, you probably back the batting side to get over the line, especially with the line-up they had. But, you know, exceptional death overs and execution really by us [changed the scenario].”
Was 164 good enough on this pitch?
“It was definitely a challenging score. We knew that getting wickets upfront was going to be the key. Fortunately for us, we got the first one through a run-out. But we knew that the middle period as well was going to be very important for us to make sure that we put a dent in their batting line-up. The way Imi (Imran Tahir) and Mishi (Amit Mishra) bowled in the middle period was exceptional. Obviously, the seamers backed it up at the ‘death’. So for me that was a clinical bowling performance. Yes, there is always going to be room for improvement. But we would have taken 164 in the position we were in the beginning.”
Praising youngsters like Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair and Sanju Samson, Duminy said, “Look, the nice thing is that all three of them have been performing well when given the opportunity. It is just about marshalling them and helping them where you can. I’m definitely not the one who knows the nuances. Yes, I’ve had a few more experienced and I might be able to know how to deal with certain pressures, but it is just great to feed off each other.
“It is not to say that the young players don’t understand situations; they read situations and played really well over the last four games. And as you get wins under your belt you create confidence within the batting group.”
Zaheer Khan felt the pitch was slowing down and the use of ‘cutters’ was helping. “Anything over 160 was a good total. The key was to have 3-4 overs of legspinners for Jos Buttler or Kieron Pollard. We were light on our batting and went with an extra leggie. I think, Sanju Samson and Duminy played brilliantly.”
On his part, Man of the match Sanju Samson said, “When JP walked in, we talked about setting a good partnership. JP gave me great support.”