Mumbai Indians didn’t play to its potential in its first three games during the second leg of IPL 2021, captain Rohit Sharma said after his team’s six-wicket win against Punjab Kings on Tuesday.

“We do agree that we didn’t play to our potential, but it’s a long tournament and we need to stick to our plans. Reading the situations is very important and we can take a lot of confidence from that. It is important not to lose the guard,” Rohit said.

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Rohit praised Hardik Pandya, who finally returned to form with an unbeaten 40 (30b).

“The way he (Hardik) understood the situation was very crucial from a team’s perspective, it’s important for him to spend the time in the middle as he’s coming back from an injury,” Rohit said.

‘Tough call’

Rohit said it was a tough call to drop Ishan Kishan from the starting XI.

“It’s a tough call (on dropping Ishan Kishan). Saurabh (Tiwary) has played the perfect role today and he’s done well to nudge around in the middle overs. We are gonna back him (Ishan Kishan) as he’s a very important player for us.”

 

Punjab Kings captain K. L. Rahul, on his part, seemed disappointed when asked whether his young team was unable to cope with pressure situations.

“It is what it is, we haven’t been able to handle the pressure. We’ll learn more if we play more together as a team,” Rahul said.

“We need to be positive. We have three games, so we need to take one game at a time. We need to go out there and enjoy ourselves. All our games in the UAE have gone down to the wire; hopefully, we can build on that.”

Rahul accepted that 135 was not a defendable target on the pitch the teams were playing on in Abu Dhabi.

“It was a great fight, but 135 was not enough on this pitch. We should have got about 170. The boys showed a lot of fight with the ball, we have done that two games in a row. The next three games will be interesting for us as the table looks interesting,” Rahul said.

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