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‘Let’s put a stop to Hardik Pandya made a decision’: MI coach Kieron Pollard defends skipper in most bizarre way

‘Let’s put a stop to Hardik Pandya made a decision’: MI coach Kieron Pollard defends skipper in most bizarre way

MI will look to bounce back from this loss when they face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their next match on Wednesday, March 27th. With a focus on learning and collective responsibility, they will aim to secure their first win of the IPL 2024 season.

The Mumbai Indians (MI) suffered a heartbreaking defeat against the Gujarat Titans (GT) in their opening match of the IPL 2024 season. Despite a valiant fightback led by Rohit Sharma and Dewald Brevis, and a late cameo by skipper Hardik Pandya, MI fell short by a mere six runs. Following the match, batting coach Kieron Pollard addressed the media, offering a positive outlook despite the loss.

Ups and Downs: GT vs MI

The GT vs MI match was a nail-biter, with momentum shifting constantly. Jasprit Bumrah’s three-wicket haul and Gerald Coetzee’s impressive two wickets with the ball gave MI a strong start. However, a dominant batting display from Rohit Sharma and Dewald Brevis, followed by Hardik Pandya’s near-rescue act, kept MI in contention until the very end.

Kieron Pollard Focuses on Learning

Despite the loss, Kieron Pollard emphasized the importance of taking away positives and learning from mistakes. “The tournament is long, and the guys are coming in and understanding what is needed at this level,” he asserted in the post match press conference. He expressed confidence in the team’s ability to improve as the season progresses.

Strategic Decisions and Collective Responsibility ft Hardik Pandya

Two specific decisions made by MI raised questions – Hardik Pandya opening the bowling and batting at number seven. Pollard defended both choices, emphasizing strategic planning and team discussions.

He explained that Hardik’s new-ball bowling experience with GT was a factor in the opening bowling decision, and it was a team strategy, not Hardik’s sole call. Similarly, regarding the batting order, Pollard clarified that entry points for batters are decided collectively, and depending on the situation, Tim David or Hardik could have played the finisher’s role.

“You have to plan and decide what you want to do as a team. Hardik (Pandya) has also bowled with the new ball for Gujarat over the last couple of years. He swung the new ball and bowled it well, which was nothing new to us. We tried to use the advantage of the new ball swinging along. When I look at the decision made, there is nothing wrong with it, and we move on,” he said.

Moving Forward as a Team

Pollard strongly emphasized the importance of team unity and collective responsibility. “We can’t say ‘Hardik made a decision, Hardik did this, Hardik did that,'” he stated. “We are a team. We make decisions collectively as one.” He called for an end to individual finger-pointing and stressed that the team will discuss and learn from the match as a whole.

MI will look to bounce back from this loss when they face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their next match on Wednesday, March 27th. With a focus on learning and collective responsibility, they will aim to secure their first win of the IPL 2024 season.

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