‘Ashutosh’s wicket was big. It shut the game’: Gerald Coetzee

By Mumbai Indians

The adrenaline rush, the excitement, the belief, and the mentality swirled all through Mumbai Indians’ nine-run triumph in a pulsating thriller against the Punjab Kings at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur on Thursday (April 18). 

One of the chief architects of this win was Gerald Coetzee, who applied the brakes on PBKS’ batting in the powerplay and death overs, met the media at the post-match press conference.

He briefly gave insight into the team discussion during the timeout before the death overs amidst Ashutosh Sharma’s fighting cameo. “He (Ashutosh) batted well. I mean, he brought it to us. So I think we just wanted to be clear tactically what we wanted to do,” Coetzee told the journalists.

“And I think we executed really well to him in the back end to shut it down and win the game. But yeah, it was tense, as I think everyone saw. But it was just all tactical discussions,” he added.

The plan proved successful, with the ‘Karate Kid’ pulling the curtains down on Ashutosh Sharma’s innings of 61 runs in 28 balls. How massive was the wicket for you and the team? One word - BIG.

“That (Ashutosh Sharma’s wicket) was a big one. We were pleased about that. I mean, he was cruising the game for them. So yeah, it was a good wicket to get.”

Coetzee delved further into how he got the dismissal, which seemed to be a slower delivery than he usually bowled earlier in the game.

“I think we realised from their innings and the mistakes we made in our innings that you had to use the big boundary. They did well with taking pace off, which was quite hard. So I think we just really learnt from their innings. We adapted our plans, and I think it worked.

“It's a big boundary, and he didn't hit it too badly. It was just some pace off on a big boundary.”

Lastly, the Proteas star - with 12 wickets in 7 innings - gave a definitive answer to which phase of the game he enjoys bowling.

Coetzee said, “I have mostly bowled in the middle overs, and in my younger days, I bowled in the powerplay.”

He added, “So, as a modern-day cricketer, you must be adaptive to whatever role you are given.”

“I haven't bowled much in the powerplay, but I'm really enjoying it. I love the middle overs, and I've grown to love the death. As someone who likes wickets, it's prime time to take wickets.” he concluded.

Gerald Coetzee has been a revelation with the ball for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024 and has grown into becoming one of the leaders of our bowling unit for captain Hardik Pandya. His synergy with Jasprit Bumrah has also been a shining light of confidence in the dressing room and the Paltan's hearts.

This ‘Karate Kid’ is going to be a very crucial part of our MISSION IPL 2024. He’s going to enjoy bowling with some long boundaries in Jaipur next, in our upcoming away game against the Rajasthan Royals now on Monday (April 22). Paltan, has the headband become your style statement already?