Kane Williamson stirred up a storm trying to take his side over the line, stroking 84 off 51 balls against Chennai Super Kings.
Defeats can deflate teams, though Sunrisers Hyderabad can count the blessings. The skipper’s knock, graceful orthodox shots mixed with stunning, improvised hits, almost turned the match around.
“I am always trying to adapt to the conditions. I try not to hit the ball like (Chris) Gayle or (A.B.) de Villiers.”
The New Zealander has more to bank on than his own form with the bat, when the team walks out at the Wankhede stadium. Mumbai Indians strokeplayers will be challenged by canny bowlers, among whom Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and Siddharth Kaul display confidence and guile.
The bowlers delivered four times out of five this season, only Chris Gayle’s reach and power reduced them to a helpless state. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has not travelled with the team, the skipper said, and his absence will benefit the home team.
MI fires when Williamson’s counterpart, Rohit Sharma, is at the crease long enough to pilot the chase or build on contributions from classy opener Suryakumar Yadav or hard-hitting partner Evin Lewis.
Then there are the sloggers Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard or Hardik Pandya.
Both teams lost close games and the Kiwi explained the mindset needed to come back after a defeat. “Sometimes when you lose games, you want to win more. It is best to go back to the basics, control things the best we can.”
Williamson said: “It is a fine line between winning and losing in T20 and we do try not to get carried away by the losses and keep backing ourselves with performances.”
The home team has under-performed so far and has one win in five matches. MI has faced problems defending modest totals. A solid show from the top order, the captain leading from the front, will be helpful.
The only foreigner leading a side this time, the Kiwi appears to be in control of himself and situations.