I like batting with Parthiv - Simmons
Mumbai Indians opener Lendl Simmons' 56-ball 71 was instrumental in his side's 23-run victory over Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, a result shaped by his 111-run partnership with Parthiv Patel. Parthiv scored his first half-century of this IPL, and Simmons said the complementary nature of their partnership was the reason for their success.
"He [Parthiv] is a good stroke-maker, he takes a lot of pressure off me by backing himself and playing his shots," Simmons told iplt20.com. "We just go on instinct, and reassess on the day. I enjoy our partnership, he is not someone who talks a lot but I like batting with him."
Simmons has struck three fifties in six innings, at an average of 39.83 and strike-rate of 119.50. Mumbai have lost only one of six matches in which Simmons has made a fifty. "I look at building the innings. You can make the most of an innings once you build it. I test the wicket in the first few overs and then you get a feel of what shots you can play and how you can carry about your innings.
"I am not as orthodox as players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, but when I do hit the ball on the ground, I get value for runs on these fast outfields," Simmons said on his approach to batting in India. "I just try to emulate some of those guys at the start of my innings and then when I get a start, I go big."
Having to defend 172 against Kings XI, Mumbai needed a strong show from their spearhead, Lasith Malinga. He obliged by dismissing Virender Sehwag with his first ball, and came back in the 17th over to dismiss David Miller, finishing with figures of 4-0-31-2.
"I don't know what pressure means. I just really enjoy when I am bowling my overs," Malinga said, when asked about performing in high-stakes games. "I am always looking forward to doing what the team needs at that moment. From the moment I am given the ball, I go and enjoy my bowling."
Malinga has taken 13 wickets in nine matches, with an economy rate and average of 8.00 and 22.15 respectively. Mitchell McClenaghan has also contributed by taking nine wickets at an average of 17.44 since replacing the injured Corey Anderson in Mumbai's XI.
"McClenaghan and myself plan, to bowl according to the situation and what the team needed at that moment," Malinga said. "Never mind who the batsman is, we were working on doing our best and playing to our strengths.
"I don't specifically focus on taking wickets. But if we try to restrict the boundaries then the batsmen want to hit every ball and they are forced into making a mistake. That is the basic plan all teams have for their bowlers. In T20 every single over is really important, it doesn't matter whether it's the first six or last five."