During the Maha Derby at the Wankhede, Mumbai Indians’ unbeaten streak finally came to an end. Ajinkya Rahane explained the reason of why Jaydev Unadkat was given the responsibility of bowling the last over. MI were losing wickets at regular intervals but their skipper Rohit Sharma kept MI into the game by scoring a half century. MI needed 39 in the last 4 overs with Kieron Pollard and Hitman at the crease. It didn’t look tough for the hosts to get over the line. Especially after few recent performances in the death overs by MI finishers. However, Pollard was undone by Imran Tahir on the very first delivery of the 17th over and MI managed to gather just 15 runs in next two overs. This made the match even more intense and exciting.
Mumbai Indians needed 24 runs from the final two overs of the match and the responsibility of bowling the 19th over was given to Ben Stokes. He gave away just 7 runs in the over and the equation came down to 17 runs from the final over. Steve Smith had few options for the last over with Dan Christian, who had given just 6 runs in the only over he bowled. Shardul Thakur was another option who had been brilliant but, Steve Smith gave responsibility to Jaydev Undakat and it turned out to be a masterstroke. Left-arm pacer guided RPS to their fourth victory this season.
After the match, Ajinkya Rahane said they decided to go with Jaydev Unadkat because he can mix the pace of the ball well as they didn’t want to give MI batsman pace to time their shots.
“Yeah, I think after the 19th over when Smith, Mahi bhai and I were discussing, we talked about bowling Shardul or Jaydev.” Ajinkya Rahane said at the post-match conference.
“But we opted to bowl Jaydev because Shardul has a lot of pace, and we wanted to take the pace off and not give the batsmen any in the last over. JD’s pace comparatively is slower than Shardul and his slower ball could’ve been more effective as the wicket was slow. We didn’t want to give them any pace because Rohit was already set.”
He also spoke about the incident happened on the third ball of 19th over when Rohit Sharma moved across the stump but the umpire didn’t give it a wide. Rohit Sharma then confronted the umpire. Rahane said it was the right decision of the umpire to not call it a wide but and then RPS opener supported Rohit Sharma’s conduct.
Ajinkya said, “I think it was the right call, as a batsman when you move, that area goes to the bowler. Rohit’s behaviour at that point was natural. As a captain, as a player, when the game is so close, it comes automatically, nobody thinks these things through and then do them. I don’t think it was wrong on his part. It happens on the field and remains on the field. It is part and parcel of the game. In this format, in close games, this will happen in the future as well. You should respect the umpire’s decision as well as what Rohit did. It was natural.”
When asked about his batting performance he said he was pleased and how he it’s all about adjusting mind when you are shifting from Test to T20.
Rahane said, “I am really happy with the way I am batting at the moment. It’s important to spend time in the middle but right now the way I am middling the ball, the way I am timing the ball, I am really happy at the moment. As long as we are winning the match, that is what important for me and my team
“I think switching from Test to T20 is all about mental adjustment. I did that completely well. I am looking forward to the coming games. We are going to play three games in a row in Pune now so we will have home advantage,” he added.