Bumrah and Pandya made the difference, says Rohit

Rohit Sharma feels Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya keep raising the bar for excellence with every game they play.

Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya played a big role in giving Mumbai its first win of IPL 2019.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma feels pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya keep raising the bar for excellence with every game they play.

Mumbai edged past Royal Challengers Bangalore by six runs in its IPL clash on Thursday night and Sharma was lavish in his praise for Bumrah, who picked up three wickets, and Pandya, who scored 32 off 14 balls.

“I think Bumrah is more than mature now. Yes, his performance keeps growing every day. He is a very dedicated individual and takes his game very seriously,” he told reporters after the match.

IPL 2019: Full coverage

Bumrah’s three wickets came off 20 runs which proved crucial in restricting RCB six short of the 187 runs put up by Mumbai Indians.

Sharma said Bumrah gave a crucial breakthrough by sending back RCB captain Virat Kohli, who was going great guns along with AB De Villiers at one point of the match.

“Bumrah is very smart. We know the class of Virat and AB (de Villiers) and hence we wanted to break the partnership when they were going strong. It (de Villiers) was a crucial wicket at that point of time of the game,” he said.

Pandya made the difference

On Pandya’s unbeaten knock towards the end of Mumbai innings, Sharma said those runs made the difference and such an innings was needed from him as he didn’t do well in the last game against Delhi Capitals.

”...obviously there was a hunger out there to go and do well. He came out and got those crucial runs in the end. He also bowled well in the middle even though he went for few runs. It was a much improved performance from last game. He is also stepping up that ladder,” he said.

Read: Kohli left fuming over Malinga no-ball howler

Sharma also said Pandya’s form is very important for the team.

“He (Pandya) was out for a bit and didn’t play a lot of games. So, he needs time to get into the groove. He is a crucial member of the team and very flexible. His form is very important to us, which will do good for us,” he said.

Asked about Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, Sharma said his role is to cramp batsmen by bowling bouncers and yorkers, besides taking wickets in the middle.

“He (Malinga) is the captain of the Sri Lankan national team. So, obviously he wants to play the World Cup and wants to do well. He is also coming from South Africa carrying a great form. He wants to keep that form going into the world cup.

“I am sure whenever he plays here for us, he wants to do well. He knows, we expect him to come up here and deliver the goods and take wickets, bowl fast, bowl bouncers and yorkers,” he added.

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