Mohit Sharma says the strategy to not experiment much against a belligerent Suryakumar Yadav worked as the veteran seamer produced a game-changing moment to help Gujarat Titans knock out Mumbai Indians and enter its second successive Indian Premier League (IPL) final.
Having resurrected his career with GT, the 34-year-old, who was sidelined after a back injury, continued his dream comeback run as he grabbed a match-winning 5/10 from 2.2 overs to demolish the record five-time champion in IPL Qualifier 2 here on Friday.
“I was lucky to have taken a quick five-for. Ball was skidding well even in the chase, looked like game will slip when SKY and Tilak got going,” Mohit said at the presentation ceremony.
After Tilak Varma (43; 14 balls) and Cameron Green (30; 20 balls) gave MI a flying start, Suryakumar went all guns blazing in a 38-ball 61 as it looked on course in its stiff 234-run chase.
However, Suryakumar’s dismissal triggered a collapse and from 155/4 in 14.2 overs, MI folded for 171 in 18.2 overs.
The 2014 Purple Cap winner with Chennai Super Kings revealed it was about sticking to the basics when Suryakumar was on a roll.
Suryakumar just hit a six and he was trying to follow it up with another as Mohit came up with a full-length ball that outfoxed the batter.
Suryakumar missed the ball completely on the leg side and it crashed onto his leg-stump after taking a deflection off his pads.
“I thought I wouldn’t experiment when SKY’s batting as that’s what we studied ahead of the game. We were okay being hit for six sixes off length balls as that’s more difficult,” said the seamer, who has played 26 ODIs and 8 T20Is, including two World Cups.
It has been a dream journey for Mohit who had to restart his career at GT after being out of IPL contract for two seasons in 2021 and 2022.
Having missed the first three matches this season, Mohit has jumped to the third spot in the leading wicket takers’ tally with 24 dismissals from 13 matches, at an astonishing average of 13.54.
“Match wasn’t over after SKY was out but there was relief and we were at comfort. The game wasn’t over till the last ball, we’ve learned in the past that it’s not over till then,” added Mohit, who last played for India eight years ago.