Parthiv Patel and West Indian Lendl Simmons have been a success as the opening pair, putting on 50-run-plus partnerships four times for the Mumbai Indians. Together they have made 619 runs in 13 matches, exactly a 100 runs short of MI’s most successful opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya, who opened the innings on twenty occasions.
But in the ongoing Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 10th edition, the two-time winner of the league has opted for England’s Jos Buttler to open the innings with the Indian left-hander. They have been successful too, making 45 against Rising Pune Supergiant in Pune and 65 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the first home match.
The duo has taken advantage of the six-over powerplay to the fullest and MI has benefited by posting a nine-run-plus total in the first game and chasing down KKR’s 178 at nine an over.
Patel said: “When myself and Lendl opened the innings, it turned out to be successful and we won the title in 2015. With Rohit (Sharma) coming down the order it gives MI stability and it gives us (Patel and Buttler) to play our shots in the first six overs. I think we gave a good start in the first two games before I out at the wrong time. My game has not changed at all, I am still playing the game the way I have been all the time. It’s important to stick to your game and not worry about what the batting order is. I just go and play my game.”
When asked if MI heaved a sigh of relief after winning a close game against KKR, Patel said: “This is a tournament in which lots of runs have been scored in the last few overs. We were always confident, especially with the way Hardik (Patel) was batting in the nets or even in the last game. We knew if we can take it deep we can always chase anything on this ground. Obviously dew was a very big factor, I think. But it was good to get a win early in the season.”
Patel, who has played 105 matches so far for Chennai Super Kings, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians and scored 1976 runs of 1729 balls for a strike rate of 114.29, will look forward to another breezy knock against the Hyderabad team on Wednesday.
MI and SRH have won four matches each, but at the Wankhede Stadium, MI won both the matches in 2013 (by 7 wkts) and 2015 (by 20 runs).
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