IPL 2021: Mumbai need Rohit, De Kock in top form, writes Sunil Gavaskar

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma. (BCCI)
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma. (BCCI)

Mumbai - This year's competition is turning out to be the most closely-fought ever with most matches so far being decided in the final over

By Sunil Gavaskar

Published: Sat 17 Apr 2021, 12:36 PM

Last updated: Sat 17 Apr 2021, 12:49 PM

Although it is still early days, the Hyderabad team is being pushed against the wall after two back-to-back defeats. Wins and losses are part of a sporting contest, but when a team lose from a winning position, then doubts start to creep in and tension starts to build up and that is what the Hyderabad team need to guard against.

It's not going to get easier as they play the defending champions Mumbai who showed great character as they held their belief and stopped Kolkata from overhauling their score.

Temperament under pressure separates the men from the boys and it is when the asking rate has climbed up that a so-called big hitter's temperament is seen. Hitting the long ones when chasing a target is invariably tougher than while batting first as has been seen time and again in the IPL over the years.

What works for one doesn't necessarily work for the others as the body contours, batting grip, bat speed vary from person to person. So if Hardik Pandya can step back deep into the crease and effortlessly whip the ball into the stands, it doesn't mean that others can also step back and across and get the same results.

That method is unique to Hardik just as Steve Smith walking back and across to the stumps works for him in all formats of the game. Sadly the number of batsmen trying to blindly copy Hardik’s methods and getting out caught well inside the boundary is increasing.

The balance to get the timing and the power is just not there, nor do they have the wiry strength and supple wrists of the Mumbai all-rounder.

The other method of clearing the front leg also is fraught with danger on slow turning pitches, especially against the ball spinning away as there is a greater chance of the leading edge of the bat making contact than the full face of the bat. Clearing the front leg toward the non-striker is a method that’s more likely to succeed than clearing it towards the mid-wicket fielder.

Hyderabad need to strengthen their batting by bringing in young Priyam Garg and all-rounder Abhishek Sharma who can bowl left arm spin too. The bowling in the hands of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan and T Natarajan is doing well with Jason Holder also chipping in nicely.

Mumbai will be hoping that their skipper Rohit Sharma hits form soon along with Quinton de Kock for they can take the game away or set it up before the half way mark is reached.

Their come-from-behind win to open their account on the points table will no doubt galvanise them and we could be in for some thrilling fireworks in the coming days.

This year’s competition is turning out to be the most closely-fought ever with most matches so far being decided in the final over. It has only just begun and tournament lovers are in for a treat for sure. (TCM)

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