Mumbai Indians’ Krunal Pandya happy with his performance against KXIP
Krunal Pandya said he was disappointed that he couldn’t take Mumbai Indians past the finishing line against Royal Challengers Bangalore but on Friday against Kings XI Punjab, he knew he had a chance to make amends as his unbeaten 12-ball 31 helped the defending champions stay in IPL 2018 playoff contention.
“It was a do-or-die situation for us. I couldn’t deliver in the last game (against RCB). I’m happy with my performance. I wanted to stay till the end,” Krunal said at the post-match conference.
Chasing 167 against RCB, the Pandya brothers kept MI on track before Krunal got out for 23 in the second last over. Hardik’s fifty also couldn’t help Rohit Sharma’s side avoid a 14-run loss.
Against KXIP, MI were 125/4 in 16 overs in chase of 174. The asking rate had shot up to 12.5 and they needed a big over soon. Skipper Rohit Sharma (24*) smacked two sixes off Mujeeb Zadran in the 17th over and a four off Marcus Stoinis in the very next over to ease the nerves.
Krunal joined the party as he took Stoinis and Andrew Tye to the cleaners to clinch an important for his side.
The elder Pandya lavished praise on Rohit, saying MI needed his experience at such a crucial stage of the game.
“We did really well in restricting them to 174. The ground is a bit small and the wicket was nice to bat on, a bit on the slower side. So we were confident of chasing it.”
“Rohit’s blows in the 17th and 18th over were the turned it around for us. Our batting is very flexible. Anybody can bat anywhere,” he added.
Krunal also lauded Jasprit Bumrah (1/19) and Mitchell McClenaghan (1/31) for mixing up their deliveries well. “I thought they were exceptional in powerplay overs. Both used the variations to good effect. That proved vital for us.”
MI now face Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (May 6).