After Mumbai Indians' campaign in IPL 2023 came to an end with a 62-run defeat to Gujarat Titans in 2 Qualifier at Ahmedabad, captain Rohit Sharma stated the youngsters coming through the batting department has been the biggest positive for them from the season.
During the tournament, youngsters like left-handed batters Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera stepped up to play crucial knocks apart from others like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Cameron Green and Tim David as Mumbai went past 200-mark six times, the most by any side in the competition.
"Playing this game, qualifying as third in the tournament, it gives us a lot of confidence. Our batting actually was the biggest positive. Some of the younger players who have come through this tournament really well is a big positive for us, something that we can take into the next season and see what we can do with the squad," said Rohit after the match ended.
Varma's attacking 14-ball 43 and Suryakumar quick 61 kept Mumbai afloat in an uphill chase of 234 after Shubman Gill majestic 129 took Gujarat to 233/3. But the five-time champions were eventually bowled out for 171 in 18.2 overs.
"Look, it was a great total. Shubman batted really well. The wicket was really good. We thought, you know they got 20-25 runs extra. But with the batting line-up we had, we were quite positive once we went inside after the first half. Couldn't stitch long partnerships though. Greeny and Surya batted well in the middle, but we just lost our way there a little bit," added Rohit.
He also rued the inability of his batters to produce a big knock like what Shubman did for Gujarat. "We thought about giving it a good crack. We wanted to be positive. You've got to make full use of the powerplay as well, which didn't go well for us. We lost a couple of wickets there and then, couldn't get that momentum which you actually want when you're chasing a target like that."
"But I thought Surya and Greeny batted well in the middle, got something for us there. But we wanted one batter just like what Gujarat did, Shubman batted till the end. We wanted someone to go and bat and take the game till deep and you never know, anything can happen."
Mumbai's chase was also affected by Ishan Kishan suffering a concussion after an accidental collision with team-mate Chris Jordan during Mumbai's bowling innings. The side then drafted in Vishnu Vinod, who became the IPL's first concussion substitute, as Kishan's replacement, while Wadhera opened the batting with Rohit.
"It's something that we didn't expect. He had a bit of a concussion there. I don't know how that happened, but it was a last-minute change. As a team you've got to adapt. That is something that we've been talking about since the start of the tournament."
"You've got to adapt to different conditions, different situations of the game. But I'm not going to look at that. We just didn't play well to win the game," concluded Rohit.