Cummins equaled the record for the fastest IPL fifty on Wednesday. He ended up clobbering an unbeaten 56 off 15 balls with the aid of four fours and six sixes. The Aussie slammed Bumrah for a four and a six off consecutive deliveries in the 15th over to give KKR the momentum in their chase of 162.
On a couple of previous occasions as well, the Australian has managed to find the boundaries against the experienced MI fast bowler. At a post-match press conference, Cummins pointed out that since he has to bat at the death, he has no option but to go after Bumrah. The 28-year-old elaborated:
“When I come into bat, it’s at the end of the game, so he’s normally trying to bowl death bowling. I have pretty clear thinking of just trying to clear the ropes. Whenever I am facing him, I am just trying to hit it as hard as I can. Fortunately, it has come off a few times.”
When the Aussie big-hitter came into bat, Mumbai were still in the game as KKR needed 61 off 41. Asked if he had any specific game plan in mind, Cummins replied that he wanted to ease the pressure on Venkatesh Iyer, who was batting well at the other end. The all-rounder added:
“The plan was for me to be the shot player. Venky was out there and he was batting well. I felt if I could try and get a couple away, that would make his job a little easier at the other end. For the short boundary, I just tried to get across. I knew they were trying to bowl outside off. (Plan was to) target those areas specifically. All I was trying to do was basically hit every ball for four or six.”
With five overs to go, KKR needed 35 to win. However, Cummins clobbered the first four balls of the 16th over from Daniel Sams for 6,4,6,6. A couple of more big hits followed as the game ended in the same over.
“Could have held on to the hard lengths a bit more” – Jayawardene on bowling plan against Cummins
Although the MI bowlers were taken to the cleaners on Wednesday, coach Mahela Jayawardene pointed out that the short boundaries on the on-side made the task easier for the batters. He did admit that the pacers could have been more consistent with their lines.
Asked if Mumbai could have done anything different against Cummins, Mahela said:
“It is quite easy to say in hindsight. The fast bowlers were good with the areas we bowled. The only thing is maybe we could have held on to the hard lengths a bit more than bowling those extra change-ups. There were short boundaries on the leg side, so it was quite easy for even Pat to hit a few of those shots. Anything could have happened.”
On the decision to give the 16th over to Sams, the coach explained:
“The equation was 35 off 30 balls. We were thinking that the left-armer would be able to take it away from him and try and create some pressure.”
Sams ended with figures of 1 for 50 from his three overs, while Bumrah went for 26 in his three without claiming a wicket.