Even as the Mumbai Indians looked set to attain the 200-run mark in Mohali after being asked to bat, Mohit Sharma claimed Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya off successive balls in the last over and conceded only four runs to keep MI to 189. The pacer finished with impressive figures of three for 38, which also included the wicket of Jos Buttler.
Although Mohit’s last over pegged MI back it didn’t help KXIP’s cause like it had when he had claimed three in the last over against Rising Pune Supergiants and helped set up a win because of the run fest in the middle overs. While speaking to iplt20.com after the match against MI, Mohit discussed bowling in death overs, and making amends for the coming matches.
You bowled a good last over once again, which also helped to keep MI below 200. How did you plan for it?
Actually the plan is as per how the wicket is behaving at the time and what the situation is. Since the wicket was slow I had thought that I wouldn’t give pace (to the batsman to hit) and bowl slower and mix up the deliveries so that I don’t become predictable. That worked and my last over was good, but before that I had conceded boundaries. Although Sandy (Sandeep Sharma) bowled well the rest of our bowlers conceded some easy boundaries. Mitchell (Johnson) bowled a very good second-last over and the way the last over went we covered it up a bit.
While Sandeep Sharma has been bowling a good first spell and you have been doing well in the last overs, where do you think things aren’t working in the middle overs? What areas would you be then working on?
Yes, Sandy has been bowling well upfront and we have been doing well in the first six overs. But I think we have been bowling one-two loose balls in the middle overs which is giving the opposition easy boundaries. We are not able to go according to the plan for (those) one or two balls. We will have to work on that and we are working on it with Joey (Joe Dawes). We are working on it during practice and trying to do better. Hopefully it will get better in the coming games.
How do you work on bowling your slower deliveries and mixing up the variations?
It depends on the situation at the time (in the match) and how the wicket is reacting. If the wicket is slow then you can bowl the slower balls because then the batsman doesn’t get pace (to use) and so it is not easy to hit that ball. But if the wicket is good your slower ball doesn’t work and you would have to use your yorkers. You have to mix-up your deliveries.
How do you prepare for bowling in the death overs?
You have to practice for situations and batsmen and practice as much as you can. Joey creates the environment during practice sessions, for eg: (simulate a situation where) a certain batsman is batting in the death overs and (plan) how you will keep it tight. I think that is important because you have to practice and implement that in the match.
What are the drills that you do?
We would upfront bowl 12 balls normally with the new ball and then we bowl 12 balls for slog overs according to the plan that Sanjay bhai (Bangar) has worked out. And so if your mindset is made up like that it is helpful.
During practice, while bowling the last 12 balls for slog overs, we bowl six slower balls with variations and then six balls we aim to bowl yorkers and then six balls as wide yorkers. So that consistency of bowling the one ball will be there so that helps in the match because you have been bowling just ball over and over again.
KXIP will now be playing away games and would need to regroup quickly?
The boys have been doing well but we go wrong in one of the areas (not clicking together). For example while we were doing well with the ball in earlier matches we didn’t do so well today (against MI), but our batting did well today. Glenn Maxwell has been able to score well today and David Miller also looked good. Hopefully we will be able to comeback. Everyone is working hard and if we get one or two good victories we will be able to make a comeback.