We lost too many wickets up front: Harbhajan Singh
Chasing a modest 129 for nine, Mumbai witnessed a disastrous start and were eventually restricted to 101 for nine, thereby losing the encounter by 28 runs at a Wankhede Stadium pitch that offered a lot of turn.
“We bowled very well to restrict them to 129. But we lost too many wickets up front (3 wickets for 5 runs) and from then played catch-up. It was a total that should have been chased whatever be the nature of the wicket,” said Harbhajan Singh at the post-match media conference.
“We did not start well in the run chase. But we did well in the second half when Dinesh Kartik and James Franklin put on that partnership. It was a game that we should have won,” rued Harbhajan Singh.
Asked about the absence of senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar because of the finger injury he sustained in the opening game against title holders Chennai Super Kings(CSK), Harbhajan Singh said while the team did miss the master batsman’s presence, it was time the others learnt to take up more responsibility.
Good to win first match but it’s a long tournament: Sourav Ganguly
“It’s always good to start with a win but we still have 15 matches to go. It is a long tournament. I have earlier been in situations where we have won the first couple of matches but then went downhill,” a cautious Ganguly stated at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Ganguly had said at the toss that he would have batted first had he won the toss and his decision was vindicated.
“It wasn’t a bad score (129). I feel Steve (Smith) and Robin Uthappa really batted well.”
Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh seemed a disappointed man but conceded that Warriors were a better team on the day.
“Pune played better cricket and were a better side today. We didn’t bat well, failed to rotate the strike,” the skipper said.
He had words of special praise for Ashok Dinda and Murali Kartik who caused the early damage.
“Dinda brought Pune back in the match with those early strikes and Kartik also bowled well first up.”
Steven Smith, who was awarded the man-of-the-match for his useful innings of 39 on a difficult track said that he and Robin Uthappa thought that “140 was a good score on this track.”
“But our bowlers really did a good job and it feels great to start off with a win. It will help us gain the momentum,” Smith stated.