‘Romario Shepherd Won Us The Game’, Says Hardik Pandya After First Win As Mumbai Indians Captain

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya admitted Romario Shepherd’s 32 runs in the final over of the innings made all the difference as the five-time champions finally got their first points in IPL 2024 with a 29-run win over Delhi Capitals on Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium.

Chasing a mammoth 235 runs for victory, Delhi Capitals managed just 205/8 in 20 overs, despite Tristan Stubbs’ 24-ball 71 not out. With this win, Mumbai Indians also became the first team to register 150 victories in T20s.

Playing at home, Mumbai Indians were 202/5 after 19 overs with Shepherd scoring just seven off four balls at that time. The West Indian unleashed his beast mode as his hit Anrich Nortje for four sixes and two fours to take the score to 234/5 at the end of 20 overs.

“That was some hitting from Romario, he won us the game. The difference was his innings. I like him, he always has a smile of his face, doesn’t run away, very proud of the way he played, proud of the team,” an elated Pandya said after the game. It was also his first win as Mumbai Indians captain.

Having started the season with three losses in as many games, pressure was on Pandya, who replaced Rohit Sharma as captain at the start of the season. Too add more to that, Pandya was also a victim of constant backlash from the fans, as the crowd booed the Indian all-rounder in all the games.

The 30-year-old stated despite three losses, there was belief in the team to bounce back.

“I would like to have this feeling (of being winning captain) more often than not. Lot of hard work, hard to clear our minds, and everything clicked. We will be making some tactical changes here and there but more often than not this will be our XII. Settling of the team is important.

“There was a lot of love and care going around, everyone knows we lost three games but the belief and backing was there, everyone believes we needed just one win and today was the start. I mean amazing, to start with 77 after six is always wonderful. The way everyone was batting, we needed rhythm to bat, the way everyone is chipping in with the opportunity coming in was fantastic,” he added.

Asked why he didn’t bowl against Delhi Capitals, Pandya said he will be bowling at the right time. “All good, will be bowling at the right time. Had it covered, so didn’t need to roll my arm over,” he added.

Leave a Comment