Mumbai: Pollard lauded Krunal and Hardik after the Pandya brothers played starring roles in a 37-run win for Mumbai Indians over defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Krunal smashed a 32-ball 42 while Hardik blasted an unbeaten 25 off 8 balls and picked up 3 for 20 with the ball to end CSK’s winning streak in the 2019 Indian Premier League. Pollard himself played an entertaining cameo and took a stunning catch to see off Suresh Raina as CSK faltered in their chase of 171.
Kieron Pollard is one of the most destructive batsmen in the T20 format but he has had to bat lower down the order below Krunal and Hardik. But Pollard said he did not mind because the brothers were doing a solid job for Mumbai Indians. “The Pandya boys have been batting well, so being the more experienced guy I have to take the initiative and try to do well whenever I come in,” Pollard told the broadcasters after the match.
Pollard said Hardik Pandya has him covered with the way he is batting now. “Hardik is phenomenal. For us it’s just about encouraging him and giving him that opportunity. He practices like that,” Pollard said.Hardik Pandya, who was named man-of-the-match, has played cameos in three matches for MI this season – he made 32 not out against Royal Challengers Bangalore and 31 before Kings XI Punjab before the 25 not out against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.
Pandya said he was focussed on improving his game and that it was a “fantastic feeling” to contribute for the team. “I was out for injury and then some other controversy award. I would want to dedicate this award to my family because that phase of my life wasn’t easy. Now my only focus is on winning the IPL for MI and the World Cup for India,” he said.