The Mumbai Indians registered a straightforward win over Lucknow Super Giants in the eliminator match of the 2023 Indian Premier League on Wednesday night. The Rohit Sharma-led side thrashed the LSG by 81 runs in Chennai; after posting a strong score of 182/8 in 20 overs, MI, riding on Akash Madhwal’s phenomenal spell (5/5 in 3.3 overs), bowled the Super Giants out on merely 101.
Despite a massive win against Krunal Pandya’s men, however, former India opener Virender Sehwag pointed out a moment in the game where he was “upset” with Rohit’s decision-making during LSG’s innings. For the final over in the Powerplay, Rohit handed the ball to an inexperienced Hrithik Shokeen and Marcus Stoinis – who had been in ominous touch – took the MI spinner to cleaners, smashing three boundaries (two fours and a six) in the over. Shokeen eventually conceded 18 runs in the over and didn’t bowl in the match again.
Sehwag stated that it was a poor decision to give the over to Shokeen, stating that Rohit could’ve saved his over for after the Powerplay.
“I was upset with Rohit because he is a young bowler, and that time, Stoinis, an international player, who is set at the crease, was looking to target a bowler. You gave that sixth over to Shokeen, and Stoinis took him to cleaners. I can understand that you gave the ball to the spinner considering there was a left-hander on strike as well. But you had an in-form bowler in Piyush Chawla who has taken wickets this season. You could’ve given the over to him,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
“Any other bowler could’ve probably given 6-8 runs. I thought the pressure was released in that over. But thankfully, after that strategic timeout, Krunal Pandya played that shot that resulted in his wicket and they collapsed. I still feel, though, that Rohit made a mistake there and he shouldn’t have given that over to Shokeen. He could’ve brought him after the powerplay, because the field would’ve spread after six overs,” the former India opener said.
Krunal was dismissed in the 9th over of the innings and the wicket – third in LSG’s innings – triggered a humiliating batting order collapse, as the Super Giants lost all of their remaining wickets within the 32 runs.