Hardik Pandya defends call to bowl first after loss in Delhi

Written by Mohan Sharma

MI skipper Hardik Pandya has defended the call to bowl first during their loss to DC on Saturday, April 27. Hardik had won the toss on the day and opted to bowl first as he wanted to know what target they would be chasing. However, the plan soon backfired as DC got off to a blazing start thanks to Jake Fraser-McGurk.

Fraser-McGurk equalled his own record for the fastest fifty in IPL 2024, and ended up scoring 87 off 27 balls as he setup the base for a big score. The likes of Shai Hope, Rishabh Pant and Tristan Stubbs would pitch in with cameo as DC scored 257 in their 20 overs. MI seemed to be always behind the chase and a valiant effort from Tilak Verma wasn’t enough as Delhi won the match by 10 runs. MI would slump their 6th loss this season as their playoff hopes took a big hit.

Speaking after the match, Hardik said that the game is getting more and more close and claimed Mumbai were backing themselves to get the score in the end. Hardik would say he wanted the batters to take chances in the middle overs.

“This game is becoming more and more closer. It (the difference) used to be a couple of overs, now it’s becoming a couple of balls. Because of the kind of games and how the bowlers are under pressure, we backed ourselves to do it. If I had to pick something out, we could have taken a couple of more chances in the middle overs. The left-handers could have probably gone after Axar a little bit, it’s something we missed out in terms of game awareness,” said Hardik.

Hardik went on to praise Fraser-McGurk for his knock and also said that he wouldn’t have changed anything about the toss.

“It was quite amazing the way he (Fraser-McGurk) batted, he took calculated risks, he played the field really well. It shows the fearlessness of youth. (If he would’ve done something different at the toss) Not really,” said Hardik.

MI will now head to Lucknow to face LSG on April 30.

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Mohan Sharma