Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Mumbai Indians by two wickets in the opening match of IPL 2021 at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. With the loss, MI extended their losing streak in their first matches in IPL; they’ve not won their first game since 2012.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma, though, looked at the positives.
“That’s the most important thing I guess (to win championships), not the first game,” he said at the post-match presentation. “I thought it was a great effort.. great fight till the end. I thought we were 20 runs short with the kind of start we got. We made some mistakes in the first game, bound to happen.”
Rohit said the losses in the first matches could possibly be explained by the time taken to hit high intensity.
“In hindsight you can say it takes time to get intensity. But there are fresh faces. Lot of players were playing international cricket and we have not had time to get to know each other very well,” he said.
RCB kept MI to 159 before getting there in the last ball, with AB de Villiers smashing 47 off 28 on a tough batting pitch.
“Definitely not an easy pitch to bat on. We need to identify the situations and get variations. AB was brilliant and got them home,” Rohit said.
The captain also said Marco Jansen was someone the team has identified as an all situation bowler.
“He’s (Jansen) a talent we have identified to bowl in any situation. We wanted to get wickets when AB and Christian were batting, which is why we went with Bumrah and Boult, unfortunately it didn’t work.”
Rohit said not playing in home conditions was a challenge, but said they’re fortunate to be playing in these tough times.
“It can be difficult for teams who have great home record but that’s the challenge of the sport.
“But we are fortunate enough to be able to be on the park and put some smiles on the faces of people in India. The country is going through tough times. Give them something to look forward to.”
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