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“It was a good effort to drag this game into the last over”: Jayant

Another day, another low-scoring game. That seems to be the trend here at Chepauk. Today’s game, which saw MI lose to DC by 6 wickets, ensured that too. Having won the toss and chosen to bat first, MI put up a score of 137/9 in the first innings. It was mostly guided by a 44 (30) from the captain and Suryakumar Yadav’s 24 (15).

The MI bowlers did well in the second innings to keep things tight. DC managed only 39 runs in the powerplay and MI were almost never out of the game, until the very end. Despite the total being small, DC managed to win only in the last over. However, it was just not a good day for the Men in Blue and Gold, with some forgettable performances and some results to undo.

Rohit Sharma, the MI captain, spoke to the media after the game about this performance, his unavailability from the field in the second innings, and more. Below are some excerpts from the same.

“It was just a small niggle, should be okay”

“After the start we got, I thought we could have batted well in the middle overs, which we didn't do. We didn't capitalise on the start in the powerplay, which we failed to do again. Credit to Delhi bowlers - they kept the pressure up and kept taking wickets.”

“We knew dew was going to come in. We saw in the last few games that it's not that difficult to grip the ball. Dew is not really the factor. You need to play smart cricket to win games, which we didn't do today. The injury is just a small niggle, should be okay.”

Jayant Yadav, playing his first IPL this year, also addressed the media.

What do you want to say about the team’s performance against DC?

Jayant: “I think, as you said, it was a tough wicket. We were short of the par score by 10-15 runs. But when we bowled, at the end of the day, there was dew. And we showed a lot of character to drag the match till the last over.”

You’ve played an IPL game for the first time since the last IPL final. How do you keep yourself prepared and how do you rate your performance in this game?

Jayant: “I think IPL is a kind of tournament where you need to be on your toes all the time. There is a squad of 25 players but at the end of the day, only 11 come to the field. You have to buy into what the captain and the management need you to do. There is clear cut communication of the roles each and everybody has to play. As for preparing for today’s match, I think IPL is a long tournament and you have to prepare accordingly and be professional about the chances you get.”

What are the challenges of bowling with the wet ball in the second innings? There was a suggestion of changing the ball every 2-5 overs. What do you think about it?

Jayant: “I think it’s not up to us to change the ball. All we can do is tell the umpire that the ball is went and it is up to the umpires to decide whether or not they have to change the ball or not. So at the end of the day, the umpires are the bosses on the field. They have to see whether the ball is entirely wet or not. Today the ball was quite wet. What happened in the previous matches was that when the ball went out of bounce, when they change the ball, it was different. But today, as you saw, not a lot of sixes were hit. That was the case because one ball was continuing for a long time. That’s why the ball was getting extremely wet.”

What were the talks going on after the first half and what were the strategies that you used to try to defend a small total?

Jayant: “I think, at half time, we were confident about pulling this off. We’d done it before. It was just about having a good powerplay, taking wickets in the powerplay and try to restrict them. I think, in the middle, we did let the game slip away because of the wet ball. But full credit to our bowling unit. To drag that total to the last over with the wet ball, it was a very commendable effort from everybody, and the fielding as well.”

How would you describe living the bubble life?

Jayant: “I think bubble life is something that, as professionals, we have to get used to, given the current situation of the pandemic. I think our management, our franchise has created the bubble taking into consideration the players. We have families allowed, who give us company. We have many recreational things to keep us occupied. And at the end of the day, we are professionals and are thankful to BCCI and everybody involved that the tournament is going on.”

On to the next game against Punjab Kings on April 23rd, 2021.