KL Rahul made batting look like a walk in the park with a scintillating 56-ball century in his 100th Indian Premier League (IPL) game as Lucknow Super Giants pummelled an out-of-sorts Mumbai Indians to score 199 for four at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday.

MI vs LSG, Match Review:

Rahul (103 not out off 60 balls) smashed nine fours and five sixes to maintain his prolific record against Mumbai Indians. On way to his hundred, he added 52 for the opening stand with Quinton de Kock (24 off 13 balls), 72 with Manish Pandey (38 off 29 balls), and another brisk 43 runs with Deepak Hooda (15 off 8 balls) for the fourth wicket.

MI’s fielding was perhaps their worst in the past four to five seasons and it didn’t help matters that Rahul was in imperious form to make full use of it.

Bereft of credible options in the dug-out, it was only natural that the tournament’s most successful skipper Rohit Sharma looked clearly out of ideas as his ploy of playing an extra spinner in left-arm orthodox Fabian Allen (1/46 in 4 overs) didn’t quite work out.

Jasprit Bumrah (0/24 in 4 overs) is manfully carrying the burden but one man can’t save the team from the disaster that this season has turned out to be.

Otherwise, why would the MI skipper start with part-time off-spinner Tilak Varma, knowing that the Lucknow captain is a master player of slow bowlers?

The six powerplay overs saw six different bowlers being used and de Kock should blame himself for wasting an opportunity to score a big one on a track that resembled a shirtfront.

There were too many short balls for Rahul to play the cuts and pulls at will and also the slog sweep, and not to forget some delectable drives when anything was pitched up.

Twenty-four and seven sixes were testimony to MI’s plight and the likes of Tymal Mills (0/54 in 3 overs), Jaydev Unadkat (2/32 in 4 overs), and Murugan Ashwin (1/33 in 4 overs) tried their best but could not succeed.

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Not having a Trent Boult, Krunal Pandya, or a Rahul Chahar is hurting MI badly, and getting as many as 16 middle-of-the-road players for just 18 crores hasn’t proved to be a wise business decision so far.

Post Match Presentation:

Rohit Sharma after,

Hard to point out one particular situation, when you are chasing a total we need big partnerships, something we failed to do today. There’s no particular reason for it, we try and put the team before the individual. They bat quite deep and it is important to hold your key bowlers towards the back end. We always try to keep Bumrah for the back end and it didn’t seem to work out. He bowled pretty well but the others just needed to pull up their socks a little bit. Every game we play is an opportunity, we try to think of our best playing XI which is best suited for the particular conditions and particular team. We lost 6 games now, we are trying to understand what our right combination is, but it all depends on the opposition that we play. When you lose games it is very easy to point out that changes are being made but we try to go with our best eleven. I think KL batted brilliantly. That is something missing from our team. I wanted someone in our top four to bat as long as possible, which is not happening. I don’t want to look too much into it. We haven’t won a game yet but we need to keep our heads high. I’m trying to prepare myself in the way I prepare for every game, that is no different. It’s not coming off, I take the full responsibility for not putting the team in the situation of what they expect from me. I back myself to go out there and enjoy the game and do what I have been doing all these years. It’s important to keep looking forward. It’s not the end of the world, we have come back before and we will try and come back again.

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