New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Defending IPL champions Mumbai Indians, who will start the 2021 season as favourites, will be buoyed by the match-winning performances of their players during India’s recent limited-overs series against England.
The Pandya brothers, both Hardik and Krunal, Rohit Sharma as well as Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav played key roles in helping India win the T20 International series 3-2 and the ODI series 2-1.
Mumbai Indians skipper Sharma, who is also the India vice-captain and opener, made a quickfire 64 to help India post a huge 224-run total in the fifth and final T20 International that India won to clinch the series. That apart he gave some good starts in the ODI series although he couldn’t get a big score.
Earlier, in the T20I series, Ishan Kishan made a 32-ball 56 on his international debut to help India win the second T20 International and level the series 1-1.
Suryakumar Yadav then clicked in the fourth T20 International, hammering 57 off 31 balls to help India make 185 and win the match to again square the series at 2-2 and stay alive. Yadav made 32 off 17 balls in the fifth and final T20I as well.
The Pandya brothers, Krunal and Hardik, too did well.
Hardik bowled 17 overs in the five-match T20 series and conceded just 6.94 runs an over while picking three wickets. He also made a 17-ball 39 not out in the fifth and final T20I to help India set up a 224-run total. His tight nine-over spell in the last ODI, in which he conceded just 48 runs, played a key role in India’s seven-run win in the third and final ODI that clinched the series for India.
Hardik’s brother Krunal scored a 31-ball 58 not out that powered India to 317 and helped them win the first ODI. India were struggling at 205 for five in 40.3 overs at one stage before Krunal’s hard-hitting saw them get to a challenging total.
Former India pace bowler, Zaheer Khan, who is the director of cricket operations at Mumbai Indians, said the franchise is proud of seeing their players do well at the highest level for India and play a key role in the team’s success.
“It’s a proud feeling that your players are representing India at the highest level and doing so well. All the players that we have, all of them have contributed and Surya has been waiting for his opportunity for the longest time. Ishan and Krunal who made his ODI debut having played a great Vijay Hazare tournament,” Zaheer said in an interaction called ‘Twitter Space With Zak’.