Poor shot selection cost Mumbai Indians the game: Harbhajan

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‘Sometimes we think there’s hardly any time in the middle but we need to take more time.’

Mumbai: “Poor shot selection made us (Mumbai Indians) where we landed,” said Harbhajan Singh after Mumbai Indians lost the opening game of IPL 9 against Rising Pune Supergianats on Saturday in Mumbai.

The veteran off-spinner did not blame the wicket after the Rohit Sharma-led unit scored merely 121 runs batting first.

“We did not bat as well as we should have. It was a tough game for us. Mumbai wicket is probably the best to bat on,” said Harbhajan who was MI’s top run-getter against RPS.

“Sometimes we think there’s hardly any time in the middle. But we need to take more time, I feel, as a batting unit,” added Harbhajan.

Mumbai Indians failed to get going after losing 5 wickets in the first eight overs of the innings. While Harbhajan scored 45 runs to help MI cross 120-run mark, RPS had no trouble chasing the total thanks to Ajinkya Rahane’s unbeaten 66-run knock.

Discussing his team’s bowling performance, Harbhajan said: “Even as a bowling unit we need to come out with a better plan and execute it. We did not play well and that’s why we are sitting not happy.”

MI, in the past, had defended low totals. However, Lasith Malinga’s absence proved out to be a big blow to the team’s plans.

“Having Malinga in the side here, we have defended totals of 160 or 170. I don’t know how long he is out, or if he’s out forever (for the entire season),” said Harbhajan.

However, Harbhajan was hopeful that his team will pull up our socks and play better cricket in future.

The spinner, despite the team’s poor show batting first, backed Rohit Sharma’s decision to bat first. “It was Rohit’s decision to bat first. I stand by it. As a team member we need to back his decision and go with whatever he feels is right. May be he wanted to bat first as there is less pressure on batsmen,” said Harbhajan.

Harbhajan, meanwhile, made it clear that MI were not a batsman short. He said,” In T20s, you can’t really go with 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers. You want to go with 6 batsmen and 5 proper bowlers.”

When asked why MI always struggle to get going in the initial stage of the tournament before turning around things, Harbhajan said, “Hopefully from next game onwards we will get the result we were looking for. It should not be like five games MI don’t play well and then we suddenly wake up and start playing well,” concluded Harbhajan.

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