MUMBAI: Even as he lauded his team for “fighting till the end,” Mumbai Indians paceman Trent Boult has sent a simple, but pertinent message to his team’s batsmen: “We will like to have more runs on the board.”
With their batters struggling on the slow, sluggish pitch at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, the defending champions have lost two of their first four games. With their middle-order misfiring, MI’s highest score this season has been 159 for nine against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“I am sure the middle-order is not too pleased with how things have gone so far. I know the guys are hungry and desperate to put in a good performance in our last game in Chennai. Not an ideal start, we would like a few more runs on the board. The strength of the side is fighting till the end and the bowlers have managed to do that. It should be an exciting game against Punjab, hopefully, we will get few more runs on the board,” said Boult at a virtual press conference, ahead of MI’s fifth game, against Punjab Kings on Thursday.
Of particular concern to MI would be the poor form of their key lower middle-order batsmen, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. Pollard has managed to score just 49 runs in four email@example.com, Pandya has been even worse, with 35 runs to show in an equal number of firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I think it is very hard for me to talk from the batting point of view. They are key ingredients to our team, things have not gone to plan as yet. Wickets are hard here, they must be thinking about giving themselves some extra balls. Yeah, hopefully, we can take good advantage of the good starts we are getting,” said Boult.
On a personal note, Boult, like he was in IPL-2020, has been as dangerous as ever, having snaffled six wickets in four email@example.com, with an economy rate of just 7.27. The left-arm fast bowler from New Zealand, though, admitted that bowling in the night hasn’t been easy, considering the dew factor.
“It is definitely tricky when the ball gets wet like that. The other night was the worst it has been in terms of dew. In terms of being a foreign player, it is something we are not used to in New Zealand, but it is part and parcel here, as bowlers you need to be able to execute some kind of deliveries so that is a good challenge. Ideally, you want to see an even contest between bat and ball,” felt Boult.
“From a personal point of view, I just swing the ball around, but the surface and conditions here have not allowed that. But, that’s the beauty of coming to this part of the world, the challenge becomes to adapt to these kinds of conditions. I am enjoying the challenge, it has been great bowling with Bumrah and seeing how he operates. Yeah, it is a great challenge and I am looking to just improve my game,” he added.
Bout complemented India and Punjab Kings opener KL Rahul, saying that “he is one of the classiest batsmen in the world when he gets going.”
“Punjab Kings’ batsmen are incredibly dangerous. I have bowled to KL Rahul a few times and I think he is one of the classiest batsmen in the world when he gets going. 100 per cent we need to be on our game as a bowling unit. Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss is a very experienced player, it is going to be a great challenge, we are coming off a defeat and we would be firing,” said Boult.