Sharma: We keep people on their toes

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma was delighted that his team managed to fight back from a tricky situation to record their first win of the Indian Premier League.

The Mumbai Indians beat the Kolkata Knight Riders to bounce back from their defeat to the Rising Pune Supergiant in their opener.

Sharma joked that the Mumbai Indians are known for keeping people on their toes after some late hitting from Nitesh Rana and Hardik Pandya helped them eclipse the target of 179.

Speaking at the post-match presentation Sharma said: “Winning the game was important. We’re known for this – we keep people on their toes. Very happy with this win. Here at Wankhede, we back our players to get the runs with the dew coming in and the flat pitch.”

The Mumbai franchise found themselves in all sorts of trouble needing 60 to win with just 23 balls left after Kieron Pollard had holed out to a wide one from Trent Boult.

In the end Rana smashed a fifty and even though he fell in the penultimate over Hardik managed to get the Mumbai Indians over the line with some help from a few generous KKR fielders.

Sharma said of the two batsmen: “We were hoping Rana and Hardik would finish it off and they did. It’s important for any team to have young players come in like that and finish the job. I hope they repeat it.”

Sharma is eager for his team to keep improving on what was a thrilling but flawed performance at the Wankhede stadium.

He said: “There’s still room for improvement. We don’t want to be in the back seat. We know the things we didn’t do well today and we’ll go back to the drawing board before our next game.”

His opposite number Gautam Gambhir was off the field for much of KKR’s defence of the total and was understandably disappointed that his team couldn’t close out the win.

Gambhir said:  “We put a good score on the board in the last three overs. But Hardik and Rana played unbelieavable innings. If we’d taken Hardik’s catch, anything might have happened.

“We back our bowlers to do the job. Woakes and Boult are experienced too. It’s just a matter of keeping our nerves calm.

“We panicked a little in the end with the misfield and the dropped catch. It’s a good chasing ground – you could chase anything. There was a bit of dew on the ground that didn’t make it easy for spinners either, but we needed to hold our nerves in the end.”

Gambhir could provide no news on the injury that forced explosive batsman Chris Lynn from the field: “I have no update on Lynn, haven’t heard from the physio yet.”