Sun. May 26th, 2024

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Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya on Thursday urged his batters to be a bit more adventurous in the middle overs, in their upcoming Indian Premier League matches. Defending champions GT registered a six-wicket victory over Punjab Kings after Mohit Sharma’s (2-/18) excellent return to the IPL and opener Shubman Gill‘s 49-ball 67. However, the game got quite close at the end with GT completing a chase of 154 with a ball to spare, something Hardik did not appreciate.

“To be very honest, I would not appreciate the game to go this close from the situation we were in. There was definitely a lot for us to learn from this game. That’s the beauty of sports, it’s never over till it’s over,” Hardik said at the post-match presentation.

“So we will go back to the drawing board. I think we can take a couple more risks in the middle overs. We should take risks and play shots in the middle overs, need to make sure the game doesn’t go so deep.

“The wicket was good but because of the hardness of the soil and wicket, the ball was getting dried up. It was a belter when the new ball was playing.” He was very impressed with medium-pacer Mohit for his fine outing with the ball.

Playing in his first game in the league since 2020, Mohit was exceptional in the penultimate over, giving away as little as six runs.

“I was not surprised, when Mohit and Alzarri (Joseph) came. They bowled terrific. And credit to Mohit. To come join us as a net bowler and then wait for his chance, knowing his time will come and today it came. He has done a lot of hard work, he has shown patience and his time has come,” Hardik said of Mohit.

Coming back to the result, the skipper said, “It will be a tough pill to swallow, taking it this close. Not a big fan of taking the game to the last over.” PBKS captain Shikhar Dhawan again expressed his disappointment with the team’s batters after another poor show.

“We did not put many runs on the board. We have to rectify that thing going forward. If you see the number of dot balls, if a team plays 56 balls, you end up losing the game.

“Losing early wickets puts you on the back foot and we need to work on that,” Dhawan said.

Player of the Match Mohit said, “I have had a good time at this venue. I thought of sticking to my variations, had a chat with Hardik in the middle overs, luckily it paid off.

“You need to train hard, give your 100 percent. Need to bowl according to the situation, and stick to the basics. I was given a role to bowl after 10 overs. Credit goes to the coach who has defined everyone’s role in the team,” Mohit said.

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