The Mumbai Indians (MI) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) in a last-over thriller in the opening match of IPL 2021. On a difficult pitch, the two sides put on a show as Royal Challengers Bangalore managed to clinch the match on the final ball. In the run chase first, it was a brilliant partnership between Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers that gave RCB the momentum and then it was up to Ab de Villiers to put the final touches who didn’t disappoint.
The legendary batsman scored 48 runs in 27 deliveries and helped RCB win the opening match against Mumbai Indians. Earlier in the match, MI could only make 159 after a flying start as they completely lost the plot in the last 10 overs. They had no answers against Harshal Patel who became the first bowler to pick a 5 wicket haul against MI in IPL history. Here’s what the winning skipper Virat Kohli and losing skipper Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation.
Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Mumbai Indians in the season opener of IPL 2021
“That’s the most important thing I guess (to win tournaments). Not the first game. I thought it was a great effort.. great fight till the end. I thought we were 20 runs short with the kind of start we got. We made some mistakes in the first game, bound to happen. He’s (Jansen) a talent we have identified to bowl in any situation. We wanted to get wickets when AB and Christian were batting, which is why we went with Bumrah and Boult, unfortunately it didn’t work. Definitely not an easy pitch to bat on. We need to identify the situations and get variations. AB was brilliant and got them home”, said Rohit Sharma.
“We won the first match last year as well that we played. It was important to play against the strongest side in the competition and test our side. Everyone was involved in this game, and when you win by two wickets, it means that everyone has gone in and played. A lot of options for me as well that helped bringing the game back. The pitch was looking decent in the first half, but to be honest, with the old ball the length ball was difficult to get away. That is why those partnerships between Maxi and me and then between AB and Maxi was really important. It’s not a pitch where you can just hit through the line. You have to be smart with picking the gaps and running hard. Playing in Chennai you have to be respectful of that. The shot that Pollard got out to, in Wankhde it would’ve sailed into the crowds”, said Kohli.
“We wanted Maxi to bat at four. Rajat is a very solid players. He is an exciting player, plays spin well too. The thinking was that we wanted to give Maxi some balls at the start and not get him slogging rightaway. You saw the result today of him playing 10-15 balls. His innings was the game-changer. Had he stayed in we would’ve finished a couple of overs earlier. The opposition then gets nervous about AB. We have depth in the batting which we want to utilize. AB is probably the only one in the team who is so versatile. And he does it on slow wickets what not many can do. In a tricky chase you need experience at the back, and the opposition knows that if he doesn’t get out the bowlers get in a different headspace”, he added.
“Absolutely happy to be back. When they traded me they told me my role was going to be bowling in the death and that is something that I have worked on for a couple of years. Happy to be here and with the faith they have shown in me. I was just focused on my execution and the most important thing was to make use of my momentum. It is my first fifer in 98 T20s and the fact that it has come against MI makes it all the more special. I have worked a lot on my yorker. I was always good at the length balls and slower balls. I wanted to be a bowler who takes on responsibility and that’s what I have been working on for the last few years”, said the man of the match Harshal Patel.