Hardik is in incredible form with both the bat and ball and the MI coach said the Baroda all-rounder has adapted well.
Two-time champions KKR needed to win against Mumbai Indians on Sunday to qualify for the play-offs, but they slumped to a nine-wicket thrashing to crash out of the T20 tournament.
Mumbai top table with crushing victory over Kolkata, assuring playoff spot for Hyderabad
MI all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was named man of the match for his bowling figures of 3 for 20 in KKR's total of 133 for 7, said getting the award for his effort with the ball was pleasing.
Mumbai Indians beat KKR by nine wickets to top IPL table; will face CSK in first qualifier at Chennai
MI ended the league phase with 18 points from 14 matches -- the same as Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals -- but they secured the top spot by virtue of better run rate.
KKR defeated Kings XI Punjab to keep their play-off hopes alive till the last leage game but if Sunrisers Hyderabad manage to sneak past RCB on Saturday.
KKR fast bowler Sandeep Warrier said that the skipper was urging his men to be on toes during crunch situations.
Not only did KKR reach the target in 18 overs but they also improved the net run-rate as they now have 12 points with a must-win away game against Mumbai Indians left.
The two teams are languishing at the bottom half of the table and need to win on Friday to keep alive their remote playoff chances.
Russell made 80 off 40 balls, hitting eight sixes and six fours at the iconic Eden Gardens, and no matter what the MI bowlers tried, they failed.
Chasing 233, Hardik's 91 from 34 balls kept MI in the hunt till his dismissal swung the game in favour of KKR at the Eden Gardens.
Opening the batting for only the third time this season, the talented 19-year-old smashed a career-best 76 to power KKR to 157 for one in 15 overs against Mumbai Indians Sunday.
Rohit was earlier fined Rs 12 lakh for his team's slow over-rate against Kings XI Punjab.
In the end, Pandya's dismissal in the 18th over sealed the game in KKR's favour as Mumbai ended at 198 for seven.
KKR came into the match with a six-match losing streak and the Kolkata franchise had never beaten the Mumbai Indians in their last eight encounters.