But captain thrilled after Ishan Kishan lifts reigning champions to 102-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders and fourth place in table
IPL 2018: Rohit Sharma wants victorious Mumbai Indians to kick habit of slow starts to season
Rohit Sharma was predictably ecstatic, some might even say relieved, after Mumbai Indians crushed Kolkata Knight Riders by a whopping 102 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday night.
After being put in to bat by home team captain Dinesh Karthik, Mumbai started well by stringing together good partnerships at the top of the order. But what took the game away from Kolkata was an absolute blinder played by Ishan Kishan. The up and coming wicketkeeper from Jharkhand would have made state-mate MS Dhoni, himself a big hitter of the ball, proud of the way he used the long handle.
Kishan, 19, scored 62 runs off just 21 balls, hitting six sixes and five fours, as the Indians posted a mammoth 210-6 in their 20 overs. It was a total good enough to see them to victory, but what followed was a stellar bowling performance from Rohit's bowlers.
Kolkata capitulated to 108 all out in front of their supporters at Eden Gardens, with just five players getting into double figures but none of them going on to build on their starts. The Pandya brothers were superb with the ball again, with spinner Krunal taking 2-12 and his younger brother Hardik taking 2-16 bowling seam.
The win has lifted the reigning champions to fourth in the table, and it was no wonder Rohit could afford to have a laugh at his side's coming late to the party.
"As a team we tend to pick up in the month of May," the middle-order batsman said. "I can only wish and hope we come together as a team at the start. It's never easy to come out right all the time, we'd like to start on a high."
Rohit was also thrilled to watch Kishan in full bloom with bat in hand.
"Without doubt Ishan Kishan's knock, his fearless knock was the turning point," said the only man to have scored three double-centuries in one-day international history. "Hitting wasn't easy, the ball was sticking in. He just came in and changed momentum. Credit to him, he was waiting for this knock, wanted to come out."
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Rohit lauded Ben Cutting for hitting 24 runs off just nine balls at the death. "He hasn't got a lot of opportunities, but he backed himself to do that," he added.
If Mumbai continue to build on their recent momentum, especially with the bat, they may yet complete a coup of sorts to reach the play-offs and even win a fourth IPL title. But there is still some way to go for that to happen.