Two-time champion Mumbai Indians’ win against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday was its 13th in 18 IPL games between the two sides. This was also MI’s fifth win in six matches at the Wankhede Stadium against KKR. MI chose to chase, probably because it was successful in the away match played at the Eden Gardens and also because not many teams have managed to defend their score.
"The wicket was pretty good to bat on, probably the best we had in the whole season. I don’t think dew was the factor; there was hardly any dew and we also bowled in the same conditions," said MI assistant coach Robin Singh, who felt that KKR was short by at least 15 runs and that the minimum par score for the venue is 180.
A former India player, Robin Singh, who also coaches the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team Barbados Tridents, said that over the last nine seasons, teams have become smart and have tried to fill in slots as per their needs. "Nobody is going to give up. The competition is pretty stiff. You cannot slip up anywhere. They (KKR) got off to a rollicking start (59 for no loss after the six-over powerplay), but then they faltered."
Robin also analysed opener Rohit Sharma's success in the tournament. "His game suits this format; he has a fantastic range of shots. We have quite a long batting line-up. So he’s able to play his game freely. There are no inhibitions with him; I don’t think anyone can have inhibitions when playing Twenty20 cricket. The game catches up with you very fast. If you don’t start well or do well in the middle overs, it’s curtains for most teams."
He also pointed out that Kieron Pollard at the back-end and Jos Buttler coming ahead of him send jitters in the opposition ranks. "With these two players in our team, I think the opposition is never safe with any sort of score because it’s just a question of one over. Pollard is with me in Barbados Tridents; his game has matured over the years. Last year also he played a lot of knocks like this. He has understood his responsibilities. He’s critical to the side."