MUMBAI: Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma today heaped praise on the young Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya for securing the team's first win of the Indian Premier League. Rana smashed 50 off 29 balls before Pandya came up with a 29-run cameo off 11 balls to seal a thrilling four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders.
"Winning the game was important. We're known for this - we keep people on their toes. Very happy with this win," said Rohit at the post-match presentation. "Here at Wankhede, we back our players to get the runs with the dew coming in and the flat pitch. We were hoping Rana and Hardik would finish it off and they did. It's important for any team to have young players come in like that and finish the job. I hope they repeat it.
"There's still room for improvement. We don't want to be in the back seat. We know the things we didn't do well today and we'll go back to the drawing board before our next game," he added. KKR captain Gautam Gambhir was frank in his assessment, saying his players could not handle the pressure.
"We put a good score on the board in the last three overs. But Hardik and Rana played unbelievable innings. If we'd taken Hardik's catch, anything might have happened. "We back our bowlers to do the job. It's just a matter of keeping our nerves calm. We panicked a little in the end with the mis-field and the dropped catch (cost us). It's a good chasing ground - you could chase anything.
"There was a bit of dew on the ground that didn't make it easy for spinners either, but we needed to hold our nerves in the end," said Gambhir.