Suryakumar Yadav
Mumbai Indians' Suryakumar Yadav celebrates his half century during the Indian Premier League 2022 match against Rajasthan Royals at DY Patil Stadium on Saturday. Image Credit: ANI

Mumbai: After winning the first match of the IPL 2022, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma said that his team showed their real potential against Rajasthan Royals, adding that they were not able to find their best combination in the first eight matches of the season.

A disciplined bowling performance followed by a fantastic half-century by Suryakumar Yadav (51 off 39) helped Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals by five wickets and end their eight-match losing streak in the ongoing IPL season at the Dr DY Patil Stadium on Saturday. Five-time champions Mumbai are at the bottom of the points table.

“I’d definitely take it (win), that’s how we play, real potential came out today, with the ball specially. They kept applying the pressure. If you keep taking wickets, it’s going to be difficult for them, we did that perfectly today,” said Rohit at the post-match presentation.

Different conditions

Rohit also mentioned that they are playing in different conditions on various kinds of pitches and were not able to field their best combination.

“This is the team we played in the first couple of games except few bowling changes. When you have a season like that, you are not sure of your combination. You want to try out so many things,” he said.

“The conditions are different. The ball tends to grip here, the pitches are flat in the other venues. We try and field the best combination, it hasn’t worked for eight games. But one thing I can say is, we were not blown away by the opposition, we came really close. Had we won those games, things would have been slightly different,” he added.

Talking about the young spinners — Hrithik Shokeen, Kumar Kartikeya — the Mumbai skipper said that they are courageous individuals. “(On Hrithik and Kartikeya) Both of these guys are courageous, they want to do something special. It gives me the confidence to bowl them at any given stage,” he said.

In a spot of bother

After his team’s loss, premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that the target of 159 would have been enough for Rajasthan if dew hadn’t played a major role and helped opposition batters.

Mumbai were in a spot of bother after losing the wickets of both openers — Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan — inside the powerplay. But Suryakumar (51 off 39 balls) and Tilak Varma (35 off 30 balls) added 81 runs for the third wicket and Mumbai eventually scaled the target in 19.2 overs.

SPO_220501 ashwin-1651406555321
Rajasthan off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the dismissal of Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: ANI

“I think if dew hadn’t played a part, that score would’ve been enough, but there was heavy dew, so I felt it was 10-15 runs short,” said Ashwin at the post-match press conference.

“158 was a competitive score. It was always going to be about how well we started. In fact, we had a very good powerplay and got one wicket more than what Mumbai had at the front. So I thought it was a reasonably good score to fight and we pretty much did well with whatever scores we had this season. I thought the wicket was a little sticky to begin with. In T20 cricket, if it’s going to be sticky and it’s going to be the same way, you just have to hope dew doesn’t kick in,” he added.

Massive difference

Ashwin also mentioned that dew makes a massive difference in the game and especially it becomes tougher for spinners to bowl in these challenging conditions.

“It was unfortunate today. I don’t know how this works, whether it’s the humidity factor, or the spray, whether it works or not or what it was, but it was wet all over the place today,” he said.

“And it makes a massive difference; good deliveries tend to get overpitched and stuff like that for the spinner. Also usage of the spinner cannot be at the back of the innings. So all these facets can’t be kicking in when dew comes in so it’s a combination. We put up a decent score. Could’ve had 10-15 more, but these things happen in a 14-game IPL,” he added.

Rajasthan, who are at second spot on the points table with six wins from nine matches, will now face Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium on May 2.