Mumbai: Defending champions Mumbai Indians’ turbanator Harbhajan Singh blamed poor shot selection as the reason for their loss to debutants Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 9 opener on Saturday.
“We did not bat as well as we should have. It was a tough game for us. Mumbai wicket is probably the best to bat on. Poor shot selection made us where we landed. We just need to work on our game a bit more,” said the experienced bowler at his post-game media conference at the Wankhede Stadium.
Batting first, Mumbai Indians, riding on Bhajji’s 30-ball-45, put up an average 121/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
At once stage, MI were reeling at 68/7, with all top batsmen back in the hut. It was Bhajji’s swashbuckling innings that saved the hosts some grace.
“Sometimes we think there’s hardly any time in the middle. But we need to take more time, I feel, as a batting unit,” added Harbhajan, who was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal opening display by MI.
Pune easily chased down the target of 122, riding on opener Ajinkya Rahane’s classy 42-ball unbeaten 66.
He also said the absence of Sri Lankan pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, who is yet to join the team as he is recovering from a knee injury, was hurting the team a bit at the Wankhede.
“Having (Lasith) Malinga in the side here, we have defended totals of 160 or 170. I don’t know how long he is out, or if he’s out for the entire season,” said Harbhajan.
“(But) hopefully over the next few games we need to read the wicket better and play better cricket, basically, even if we bat first,” he added.