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Familiarity becomes foe for CSK

Chennai Super Kings needed two runs off the last ball; Lasith Malinga, with a slow yorker, denied a second successive title for CSK.

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said being familiar with Shardul Thakur and his game plan helped him and premier bowler Lasith Malinga plan for that final wicket-ball which helped Mumbai Indians defeat CSK by one run and clinch its fourth Indian Premier League title on Sunday.

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Shardul and Rohit play for Mumbai in the domestic circuit.

“It could have gone either way but the idea was to get the batsman out. I know Shardul (Thakur) really well. He plays for Mumbai and I’ve known him for a long, long time. So, I kind of understand where he wants to hit. (Lasith) Malinga and I decided together that we will go for that slower option because he would try to play a big shot and there might be a chance that he could just sky it up.” — Rohit Sharma, MI skipper

Speaking to the media after the match, Rohit said, “When a situation like this comes, both the teams are under pressure, both the bowler and the batsman are under pressure. So, at that point, what you decide as a captain is very crucial. We didn’t want to take it to the Super Over and we thought we could get a wicket and finish it off there.

“It could have gone either way but the idea was to get the batsman out. I know Shardul really well. He plays for Mumbai and I’ve known him for a long, long time. So, I kind of understand where he wants to hit. Malinga and I decided together that we will go for that slower option because he would try to play a big shot and there might be a chance that he could just sky it up,” he said.

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The Mumbai skipper said taking brave decisions at that moment mattered the most. “It could have gone either way. Shardul could have just middled the ball it could have cleared the ground too. What is important is, at that point you have to be brave take those crucial decisions. So, we decided that will go for that slower ball, no matter what happens. If they get it, they get it if they don’t, then probably we have a chance to win the game and that is what matters,” Rohit explained.

Rohit lauded the team spirit which helped his team triumph. “As soon as the first half got over, we knew it’s going to be a tight game. So, we were all prepared for holding nerves at a crucial time.

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I’m really happy that we went through the finishing line. It is about a few senior guys in this team. We always get together between the overs and talk about what we want to do and we should be doing. We don’t rely on one individual, it’s a collective effort throughout the tournament that we’ve had. And even the decision making, it’s all collective,” he added.

“I wanted to go with experience because somebody who’s been in that situation can execute our plans better. Malinga has been there a million times. We backed him to do that. I remember, the last time when we won here in 2017, it was Mitchell Johnson who bowled that last over and defended 10 runs.” — Rohit Sharma on choosing Malinga for the final over.

Rohit also justified his decision to bowl Malinga in the final over even after the pacer had been taken for runs in his previous three overs. “When the decision comes off, it looks all nice. It could have backfired also. At that stage, I wanted to go with experience because somebody who’s been in that situation can execute our plans better. Malinga has been there a million times. We backed him to do that. I remember, the last time when we won here in 2017, it was Mitchell Johnson who bowled that last over and defended 10 runs.

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“Sometimes you got to go with instinct and also understand what these experienced players have done and what they bring to the table. Malinga has been one of the finest and he has done that for years now and he could give us a chance of winning the game,” he said.

Article source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/cricket/ipl/mi-vs-csk-final-mumbai-indian-champion-lasith-malinga-ipl-2019-rohit-sharma-shardul-thakur/article27114186.ece

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