IPL 2019, MI vs KKR: Mahela Jayawardene feels Mumbai bowlers' unpredictability played key role in victory over Kolkata

Electing to field, MI bowlers, led by Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, put up a spirited show to restrict KKR to a sub-par 133 for 7, which the hosts chased down with 23 balls and nine wickets to spare at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night.

Press Trust of India, May 06, 2019 13:34:55 IST

Mumbai: Mumbai Indians thrashed Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets to top the table and their head coach Mahela Jayawardene said unpredictability while bowling was the key to success against the visitors in their final IPL league game.

Electing to field, MI bowlers, led by Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, put up a spirited show to restrict KKR to a sub-par 133 for 7, which the hosts chased down with 23 balls and nine wickets to spare at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night.

Mahela Jayawardene has done a great job as Head coach of Mumbai Indians. AFP

Mahela Jayawardene (third from right) has done a great job as Head coach of Mumbai Indians. AFP

Asked whether it was a planned move to use several bowlers in the power-play and bowl slow bouncer to Andre Russell, Jayawardene said, "We didn't want to be predictable. I thought we were bit predictable in Kolkata and in that scenario they batted well. So, we wanted to make sure that we don't give them that familiarity and try and create opportunity to take wickets."

He credited Hardik Pandya for bringing the hosts back into the match after KKR openers Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill conjured 49 runs for the first wicket.

"We didn't get wickets (initially) but Hardik came and picked up those wickets and I thought Krunal (Pandya) bowled brilliantly to keep the pressure on and it was a good combination.

"Then Mali (Malinga) with his experience, coming back and picking couple of wickets, we just didn't gave them loose balls this time around and that's what a quality attack can do," he noted.

Hardik is in incredible form with both the bat and ball and the MI coach said the Baroda all-rounder has adapted well.

"More than technically it was about his (Hardik's) temperament, be patient rather than force the issues. With Hardik, it is about holding his shape pretty much (and) he has got a lot of power going forward. It is not just one area where he has improved this year, he is hitting at different pockets, so it is very difficult for bowlers to bowl to him," explained Jayawardene.

"It is not the easiet job in the world when you are batting at number 6 or 7, coming in and give (score) that extra runs for the team but he has adapted well, and he is still learning. So we are quite happy with the progress he has made over the years."

Malinga bowled round the wicket, which is a rarity, but the head coach revealed that it was an area which was worked upon and that the Sri Lankan pacer got rewards.

"We have been working on it for a week or so, trying to create a different angle because the batsmen are getting used to him. That's something we are practising. He was quite comfortable," Jayawardene said.

"We told him it's about time (he) tries doing that in a game. He did so. That's a thing in modern day cricket. Even though you have been a great, you still have to find new ways of creating things. It was nice to see him opening up for that idea and getting rewards."

He also said that to do well in the IPL, a team's bowling unit has to be up to the mark.

"We know that to do well in the IPL, your bowling attack has to be the one which delivers for you, day in and day out," Jayawardene noted.

Mumbai take on Chennai Super Kings in the first Qualifier in Chennai Tuesday.

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Check out the full points table for IPL 2019, including holders of Orange and Purple Caps

Updated Date: May 06, 2019 13:34:55 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254