Mumbai v Hyderabad, IPL 2013, Mumbai May 14, 2013

Big chases come down to 'backing yourself' - Pollard

ESPNcricinfo staff

When you face an asking rate of 15, you have no choice but to back yourself and go for your shots. That's what Kieron Pollard was thinking when he launched his brutal attack against the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers in the final four overs of the chase at the Wankhede, helping his team to a seven-wicket win and the top of the points table.

"The situation dictates itself when you walk in to bat [with the required rate] at 13 runs an over and if you block two balls, it gets up to 15 in no time," Pollard was quoted as saying by PTI, after the game. "It is a matter of backing yourself, the situation dictates itself and you have to play each ball on its merit and back your ability to clear the boundaries. Actually choose which bowler you want to hit, and capitalise."

Mumbai Indians needed 62 off 24 balls when Pollard and Rohit Sharma - who finished not out too, with 20 off 15 - took 29 runs of a Thisara Perera over. That was followed by 21 runs off Amit Mishra's legspin in the 18th and, though Dale Steyn produced a very tight 19th over, with just a run-a-ball required off the final two Mumbai Indians were in control.

Pollard's unbeaten 66 off 27 is made all the more significant by the fact that he was recovering from a bout of the flu. "I am still sniffling a bit. I missed the game against Pune, the flu," he said. "I came for practice yesterday, I was striking the ball pretty well. So once you are able to move and able to bat … I thought I was fit enough to play. The management decided obviously. We knew how important the game was and that was it."

Mumbai Indians coach John Wright said Pollard's was an "amazing feat". "What an amazing feat of hitting. I have never seen anything like that before," Wright told the IPL site. "We were always up against it in the run chase. And they got those wickets [of Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu] immediately after Sachin retired, so we didn't look like we were going to be winning the game but then that's what a player like Pollard can do. That's special."

Wright was also all praise for Rohit's captaincy. "He has stepped into the captaincy role and he looks the part. It is very early days yet but I think he is going to be a very good leader," he said. "We all contribute in our various ways but Rohit has taken to the job. He seems to be suited and the responsibility sits well with him - that shows through his performances with the bat and some of the decision-making on the field."

Rohit was named stand-in captain for Mumbai Indians a couple of weeks into their campaign, following Ricky Ponting's poor form with the bat. Since he took over, Mumbai Indians have won seven off eight games. Rohit is the team's leading run-scorer after 14 games, with 487 runs at 54.11 and a strike rate of 140.34.

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  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    I am still in shock that SRH lost the game from very strong position. No team in the tournament lost so badly like this as SRH does. Anyhow they have to tighten up their bowling against big sides like MI, CSk, KKR and RR. Without that there is no point that this team goes to play offs bcoz they will lose easily in play offs.

  • Ashok on May 14, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Sadly there was just one Steyn in the SRH side. He was the only bowler who knew how to reduce Pollard to ordinary level. In his very first ball that he bowled to Pollard he had him beaten just missing the bat edge but went over the stumps. White did not have a plan of action. He could have left either Karan Sharma or even Sammy to bowl to Pollard from the other end. Mishra is too slow & predictable bowler & so is Perera. It was pollard who beat SRH single handedly. Fortunately for him he connected every ball but one & flicked the ball for sixers galore with greatest ease & perfect timing! What a power made to look so simple! A winnable game was squandered & with that the playoff hopes of SRH may have left. MI & CSK as well as RR are all but sealed their 3 places. There is just one place open for grabs. Now SRH have to hope & pray for Punjab to beat RCB today to keep their Cinderela story dreams alive!

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    great team effort by MI sachin is showing some form ,,,,,,,pollard is tremendous MI only problem is 3 seamer and,,,,they have to think about it if they want to win ipl

  • narbavi on May 14, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    @SK5983 : 5 or 6 ipl games and you say Rohit is better than Kohli? Kohli has won india an under 19 world cup, he has dominated world cricket at an young age, has been the most consistent indian batsman over the last two years, he is the one who should succeed Dhoni, by the way, let Rohit first try to cement his place in the one day team, then the test team, then he can think about captaincy!!

  • Sachin on May 14, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is proving to be better captain than Virat Kohli, if Rohit gets going good in International Cricket, than BCCI should look at Rohit Sharma as a next captain for team India maybe after 3-4 years when MS leaves his role. At the moment MS is in no mood to leave his position and it will be more better if he develops a good young team. Although Unmukt Chand has not shown good signs in T-20 cricket, he is a lot better player. Think about Virat Kohli in first 2-3 IPLs he was not that much good, but soon he started playing good innings to it was becuase of exposure to International cricket.

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