Dropped chances cost Royal Challengers Bangalore dearly in their match against Kings XI Punjab last week. On Monday night, the Royal Challengers dropped three more catches, including one regulation chance – the substitute Pawan Negi putting down Kieron Pollard at deep extra-cover – that could have proven just as costly.
At that point, Mumbai Indians needed an improbable 76 to win off 23 balls, with Pollard batting on 15. He would go on to score an unbeaten 60 off 24 balls and, in partnership with Ishan Kishan, help Mumbai pull off a last-gasp tie. According to ESPNcricinfo’s Luck Index, that chance cost the Royal Challengers 22 runs.
The Royal Challengers eventually prevailed in the Super Over to pick up two precious points, and their captain Virat Kohli reflected that they could have wrapped up the game in a far more routine way had the chances stuck, and hoped the team’s catching would pick up through the tournament.
Here are excerpts from his interview at the post-match presentation.
On Mumbai’s comeback
I think we batted really well in the first innings to get us past 200, and then the start with the ball was outstanding as well. And then I think they [Mumbai] played really well, patiently, in the middle overs, waited for the dew to kick in and obviously with that power at the back end, with Pollard and Hardik [Pandya]… we got Hardik out, but still, for Pollard and Ishan to bat the way they did was outstanding to keep them in the game.
On the catching
We tried to execute the things that we wanted to – again fielding is something that we have to keep working on, because those [dropped] catches are going to be costly. If we’d taken our catches again tonight, probably it wouldn’t have been so close, so look, we’ve got a close victory, and, as I said, these little things on the field we are not capitalising on right now – it’s something we really need to focus on.
On Navdeep Saini restricting Mumbai to 7 in their Super Over
Outstanding Super Over from him, bowling against Hardik and Pollard. I think the longer boundary helped him gain some confidence for his yorker, because he’s got the pace, and he was using the wide yorker well too. I think the guys showed real good composure to get these two points in the bag, and they’re very very crucial points at the early stage of the tournament.
On facing the Super Over alongside AB de Villiers
Well, look, I thought about it, to be honest, but then I thought, okay, Jasprit [Bumrah]’s going to bowl, he’s going to use the longer boundary – who are the two guys that can probably run the first four balls for two, and that was me and AB. So AB said ‘I’m going’, I said ‘I’m coming with you.’ Yeah, look, it was all about just stepping onto the field, taking responsibility for the team, and yeah, we got a boundary each and got the job done.
On facing Bumrah
Yeah, it was interesting. I think it was a good match-up with Jasprit being the best bowler they have, and [against] AB and myself, I think he would have been under a bit of pressure as well, to defend eight [runs], so good contest. We both felt that he’s in the game, we’re in the game, and that’s what people love watching, and that’s what this competition is all about – top-quality cricket, games going down to the wire, and exciting games like this is good for the people to watch, but not for the captains involved in it. We can take lessons out of this and try and close the closer games much better in the future.
On the three changes in the Royal Challengers line-up
I think the changes that we made – making Washy (Washington Sundar) bowl in the Powerplay, which is his strength, paid off; I think Isuru [Udana] was really good as well, and to be honest Gurkeerat [Singh] didn’t get a chance with the bat, but these changes gave us more balance in the side. I think [Adam] Zampa was good as well, apart from that last over where Polly (Pollard) went after him. I think the guys showed good character, they were positive through the innings, and when you’re playing against top-quality sides they’re going to hurt you at some stage.
On picking up two wins from the first three games of the season
Yeah, pretty different from the past, isn’t it? Feels good. Feels good to get the points on the board. As I said, this should boost us forward in a better way. Plug in those gaps, be more professional with our performances, and then, you know, keep accumulating those points.
ALSO SEE: Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore live score, September 28 2020
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