IPL 2024: 'Perplexed, beyond my understanding', Smith, Pathan slam Hardik's tactics of using Bumrah vs SRH

Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya’s decision not to give Jasprit Bumrah more than one over until the 13th over of the Sunrisers Hyderabad

Hyderabad, March 28 (IANS) Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya’s decision not to give Jasprit Bumrah more than one over until the 13th over of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) innings during the IPL 2024 match on Wednesday night came in for criticism from all the corners as the hosts blazed to 277/3, the highest total in the history of IPL.

After bowling one over in the Power-play, Bumrah was introduced into the attack again only in the 13th over. By this point, the Sunrisers had amassed a formidable 173-3 on the scoreboard, putting them in a strong position to accelerate their scoring.

Bumrah completed his four-over quota conceding 36 runs, emerging as the most economical bowler for MI with an economy rate of 9 runs per over.

Speaking to Star Sports on Cricket Live show about the tactics employed by Pandya in the game, Australian cricketer Steve Smith said he was perplexed with the bowling changes for MI in the match.

“I was perplexed with some of their bowling changes in the first innings for Mumbai. Bumrah bowled in the 4th over he went for 5 and then we didn’t see him again till the 13th over when they were on a 173. All the damage had been done, you needed your best bowler to be coming back and take some wickets in that period and I think they missed a trick there bringing him back only in the 13th over,” said Smith.

Smith further said that if Bumrah had been pressed into attack earlier, then SRH would have been reduced to 240. “When the ball is going around like that, you’ve just got to bring your best bowler back earlier than you would have liked. It’s just about adapting on the go and I’d have almost bowled Bumrah out by the 15th, 16th over, try to get some wickets, if he gets wickets, you slow the rate down anyway. If the guy is batting at the end, doesn’t matter who is bowling, we saw that really with Bumrah in the last two overs and he still got smacked with the bat at the back end.

“So if he came back earlier and had taken some risks, things would have been really different and they got 277 and they could have been reduced to 240 and might have chased those down, so I was just perplexed that he bowled only 1 over up until the 13th over.”

Local lad Tilak Varma made a stunning 64 off 34 balls in the run chase, but his efforts went in vain as Sunrisers Hyderabad recorded a 31-run win over Mumbai Indians a six-hitting run fest.

“It was an incredibly difficult wicket, we’ve seen the most runs ever in a T20 game, so you’ve got to give some credit to the batters as well. I think he got a few things wrong, and that was the main one for me. I mean you can’t have one of the best bowlers in the world bowling 1 over,” added Smith.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan also didn’t hold back in criticising Pandya’s captaincy and the decision to keep Bumrah away from the attack when MI was in a difficult situation.

“The captaincy of Hardik Pandya has been ordinary to say the least. Keeping Bumrah away for too long when the carnage was on was beyond my understanding,” Pathan wrote on X.

He further went onto slam Hardik’s batting strike rate 120 during the chase. “If the whole team is playing with the strike of 200, Captain can’t bat with the batting strike rate of 120,” Pathan wrote in another post on X.

–IANS

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