Prajakta Pawar in Delhi 22 April 2013 - 01:25am IST
Would have preferred winning match over sixes award: Rohit
Batsman says MI needed to get wickets early
Playing at the Feroz Shah Kotla, MI’s No 4 bat, took the attack to the Daredevils bowlers after Ricky Ponting opted to bat first. Coming in at 22 for the loss of two wickets he was involved in a superb 96-run partnership with batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar as the duo clobbered the opposition all round the park.
Although Tendulkar was the first to hit the ball over the ropes, the youngster dispatched the ball out of the park with panache.
Although he was awarded the maximum sixes award, Sharma would have gladly traded it for a win as he told iplt20.com after the loss.
“That (award) doesn’t really matter unless you win the game. I would have preferred winning the game over it (but) anyway we cannot get disheartened because it is just one bad game and we will look forward to putting some good performance in the coming games.”
Despite losing a couple of early wicket, his knock and partnership with Sachin Tendulkar helped the MI post a competitive target for the Daredevils. However it wasn’t enough with Mahela Jayawardene holding up one end after promoting himself up the order while Virender Sehwag took the attack to the MI bowlers.
Reflecting on the game, Sharma said, “We didn’t start well and Delhi has been known for the big scores (in the past) so though I am not sure, anywhere around 170 / 160 was a good score here. I thought we were 10-15 runs short. But you cannot look back ... 161 is still a good score to defend I think.
They started off really well, we wanted to get early wickets which we always spoke about but we didn’t get that and that was the game changing point I feel.”
Although the visitor’s were a few runs short, the crowd at Kotla witnessed one of the best batting fests in the season so far. Apart from Sharma’s sparkling innings, they saw the master score a 47-ball 54 and then were entertained by Virender Sehwag’s 95 off 57 not out along with Mahela Jayawardene’s solid 43-ball 59-run knock.
Talking of his 96-run stand with Tendulkar, Sharma said, “Batting with Sachin Tendulkar was really great. This is not the first I have batted with him, we have had some good partnerships while playing for India and for Mumbai Indians. So yes, it was great and it has always been great. I am glad that we shared a partnership of more than 50 runs.
Asked about left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson’s absence, who could probably have troubled the batters, Sharma said, “I cannot comment on that because it is really the team management’s and captain who decides about who will play. If they felt they wanted Dwayne Smith up the order then Dwayne Smith it was and Mitchell Johnson was left out. Unfortunately only four overseas players can play so it is pretty difficult and pretty hard on the guys also.”
And with Smith coming into the side, the batting order changed with the captain dropping himself down the order. Speaking about that move, Rohit stated, “I really don’t know. Probably the thought was that we needed a good start up front and (with Dwayne) Smith being a big hitter they promoted him and nothing much (other than that).”