Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma effusive in praise of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma was lavish in praise of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya after Mumbai edged past Royal Challengers Bangalore by six runs in the IPL match in Bengaluru on Thursday night.
Bumrah bagged three wickets while Pandya scored 32 runs off 14 deliveries which proved vital in the end.
"I think Bumrah is more than mature now. Yes, his performance keeps growing every day. He is a very dedicated individual and takes his game very seriously. He is quite regular with his work ethics," he told reporters at the post-match press conference.
Bumrah's three wickets came off 20 runs which proved crucial in restricting RCB six short of the 187 runs put up by Mumbai Indians.
Sharma said Bumrah gave the team a crucial breakthrough by sending back RCB captain Virat Kohli, who was going great guns along with AB De Villiers at one point of the match.
"Bumrah is very smart. We know the class of Virat and AB (De Villiers) and, hence, we wanted to break the partnership when they were going strong. It was a crucial wicket at that point of time of the game," he said.
On Hardik Pandya's unbeaten knock towards the end of Mumbai’s innings, Sharma said those runs made the difference and such an innings was needed from him as he did not do well in the last game against Delhi Capitals.
"...obviously there was a hunger out there to go and do well. He came out and got those crucial runs in the end. He also bowled well in the middle even though he went for few runs. It was a much improved performance from the last game. He is also stepping up that ladder."
Sharma also said Pandya's form is very important for the team.
"He (Pandya) was out for a bit and didn't play a lot of games. So he needs time to get into the groove. He is a crucial member of the team and very flexible. His form is very important to us, which will do good for us."
Asked about Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, he said his role is to cramp batsmen by bowling bouncers and yorkers, besides taking wickets in the middle.
"He (Malinga) is the captain of the Sri Lankan national team. So, obviously, he wants to play the World Cup and wants to do well. He is also coming from South Africa carrying great form. He wants to keep that form going into the World Cup.
"I am sure whenever he plays here for us he wants to do well. He knows we expect him to come up here and deliver the goods and take wickets, bowl fast, bowl bouncers and Yorkers."