Kolkata: The talented Indian youngsters of Kolkata Knight Riders made all the difference as Mumbai Indians struggled to get breakthroughs, skipper Rohit Sharma said after their seven-wicket loss in the IPL-8 T20 cricket tournament opener here on Wednesday.
“Their strength is their domestic batters who utilized the conditions in a better way, and handled the situation well,” the Mumbai Indians opener said while giving credit to the KKR batsmen for the win.
Chasing 169, Kolkata Knight Riders romped home in 18.3 overs with Gautam Gambhir setting up the platform with a 43-ball 57 before Manish Pandey’s 24-ball 40 and Suryakumar Yadav’s 20-ball 46 not out sealed the issue.
After getting the wicket of Robin Uthappa (9), Mumbai Indians struggled to get breakthroughs as Sharma’s 98 not out went in vain.
“I don’t regret missing out on the century but on losing after setting a good target. We could not get much breakthroughs after the first wicket.”
On his Mumbai teammate Yadav, Sharma said: “He’s a talented youngster. He did pretty well. He plays according to his strength, understands his game very well.”
“He looks a little matured, reads the game well. It’s good for him. To be honest, he had a good Ranji season well. I wish him all the best.”
This being the first game of the season, the Mumbai skipper said not all is lost as they can still bounce back stronger.
Keeping his faith on the bowling unit, Sharma said: “We should have executed our plans really well but I am not blaming anyone.
“It’s the first game of the season and the bowlers are trying their best. Today was a day where they tried hard but did not go our way. I have a lot of confidence in our bowling unit.”
For Kolkata Knight Riders, Morne Morkel made all the difference as his 2/18 from four overs restricted Mumbai Indians to 168/3.
“There was a little bit of grass on the wicket. He made good use of the wicket, he extracts more bounce because of his height.”
On Sunil Narine’s remodelled action, Sharma said: “I didn’t see any difference with his action. He’s playing after a long time, he’ll get used to it. I don’t want to talk about what’s happening in KKR and focus on my team.”