Quinton de Kock not playing: Defending champions Mumbai Indians have made a couple of important changes ahead of a must-win match.
During the 51st match of the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians in Sharjah, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has won the toss and chose to field.
“We are going to bowl first. We have tried everything in this UAE leg, we have tried batting first, we have tried bowling first. The wicket here doesn’t change too much, so we thought let’s have a target in front of us when we bat. We know where we stand at the moment.
“Every individual knows what they need to do. We have done enough talking, we have done the preparation, it’s about coming here and executing. We need to read the situation, not to worry about what is happening elsewhere, not to worry about the table as well. If we play well, the results will take care of itself,” Sharma told Star Sports at the toss.
Unperturbed by the decision at the toss, Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson laid emphasis on “keeping it simple” and “trusting themselves” ahead of a must-win encounter against the defending champions.
“We face different challenges in each game. We have a decent combination which can suit this wicket. Looking forward to an exciting game. We have to keep it simple, will have to trust ourselves,” Samson told Star Sports at the toss.
Why are Krunal Pandya and Quinton de Kock not playing vs Rajasthan Royals?
Badly needing to win this match, Indians have made a couple of crucial changes to their Playing XI as wicket-keeper batter Ishan Kishan and all-rounder James Neesham have replaced Quinton de Kock and Krunal Pandya. Being asked about the reason behind dropping de Kock and Krunal Pandya, Sharma highlighted the need of playing an extra pacer in Neesham.
“We looked at how the game is being played here. The pacers have done well with their change-ups, the pitch tends to get slower and slower. It was unfortunate, Quinton [de Kock] is a very key player for us, so is Krunal [Pandya]. Unfortunately, we have to do those changes and these guys have to miss out,” Sharma said.
In 11 IPL 2021 matches, de Kock has scored 297 runs at an average of 29.70 and a strike rate of 116.01 including a couple of half-centuries. Krunal, on the other hand, has picked just five wickets in 12 matches at an average and strike rate of 49.80 and 38.6 respectively. Additionally, Pandya’s 134 runs have come at below par average and strike rate of 14.88 and 115.51 respectively.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) October 5, 2021
As far as the changes for Royals are concerned, they have included spinner Shreyas Gopal for Mayank Markande and debutant pacer Kuldip Yadav for Akash Singh.