Should’ve done better in 1st innings: Agarkar
Mumbai, Dec 11: The drawn match between Mumbai and Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium turned out to be an exciting game in the latter half of Day 4. After Mumbai were bowled out for 485 in the morning, they gained only one point from the match, while Punjab claimed three on the basis of their first innings lead.
Although they resumed their innings in the morning with a chance to take the first innings lead, the home team lost crucial wickets in the first session. But Mumbai’s left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan then bowled the visitors out for 59 to give Mumbai an outside chance to pull off a win; but it was not to be.
Mumbai have now slumped to fifth position in the Group A points table and need to win their upcoming games to stake a claim for a position in the knockouts.
Addressing the media after a thrilling Day 4, Mumbai skipper Ajit Agarkar looked back on the match and his team’s performance.
Excerpts from his media interaction:
On the match
I think maybe the runs were a few too many for the overs we had [chasing 155 in 10-11 overs]. If we had a few more overs [maybe it was possible]. Nobody expected them to be bowled out for 50 odd. Looking at the first innings, we were in a great position this morning. Ideally if we had batted a bit better we could have [chased it], [but] 580 odd runs to chase is not easy. But we had two batsmen [Rohit Sharma and Hiken Shah] batting with [Abhishek] Nayar still in the shed. We expected to do better. We lost a few too many wickets before lunch. They bowled a decent spell at that time.
On the turning point of the match
The turning point was probably dropping a few catches on the first day and once you let a team score 580 it is never easy chasing it so ideally we would have not like to concede those runs. But those four wickets definitely [made a difference] because the bowlers keep getting tired [and] if we had kept them of the field a bit longer [the situation could have been different]. Ballu [Balwinder Singh Sandhu (jr)] and Nayar added a few runs in the end anyway. We lost a few too many wickets in the morning.
On Mumbai’s batting in the morning
It was [about] couple of poor shots more than anything else. If you are chasing 480 maybe that doesn’t happen [and] you don’t have three slips and a gully at that point, you have a few more fielders outside. So yes [after] conceding 580, to chase it you have to bat all the way through. If we would have hung around with Nayar a bit longer I think it might have been a bit easier after lunch [to chase]. It all happened in one spell of four or five overs so yes we need to improve it.
On opening with Rohit Sharma and Abhishek Nayar while chasing 155
Anyway chasing 150 odd runs in about 10 overs, I am not sure has happened ever. It might have happened once or twice in the history of the game [but] I am not sure. It was always going to be difficult but with Rohit’s talent [you never know and] he played some great shots. If we got a couple of overs with 25 runs [there could have been a chance]. We already got one [over with 24 runs]. That would have made it a bit closer [because] then pressure sets in and the bowlers bowl a few bad balls so probably couple of more overs, 15-16 overs would have made it interesting or [chasing] 120-130 runs in 11 overs. But that [opportunity] turned out to be a bonus with Ankeet’s exceptional bowling. It was otherwise heading to a tame draw.
On Ankeet Chavan’s performance
It was very good. I hope this performance gets noticed going ahead. It was a really good spell of bowling, it wasn’t just poor shots or bad batting. It was good spell of bowling. To get nine wickets in any form of cricket is exceptional. We know he has the talent to get wickets that is why he playing for Mumbai. I am happy. We have three crucial games coming up so it helps his confidence.
On the road ahead for Mumbai
There is no choice, we have to win.