Kieron Pollard, on his 35th birthday, was dropped by the Mumbai Indians as they took on the Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Thursday. The five-time champions handed a debut to South African youngster Tristan Stubb.
MI made two changes vs MS Dhoni and co. Stubb and Hrithik Shokeen were brought in for Pollard and M Ashwin. Rohit Sharma won the toss and asked CSK to bat.
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Pollard, who has been Mumbai’s mainstay over the last decade, turned 35 on Thursday. He was benched on his special day.
When asked about keeping the former West Indies captain, who announced retirement from international cricket recently, Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that the conversation was not easy.
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“It was tough. But he (Pollard) accepted it. We made a couple of changes – Hrithik Shokeen for Murugan Ashwin was the other change – and one was with an eye to the future,” the MI skipper said.
Mumbai are already eliminated from IPL 2022. They are at the bottom of the points table with two wins and nine losses in 11 games.
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“Nothing has worked for us this season. Keeping an eye on the future,” Sharma said.
Pollard’s poor form has hurt Mumbai Indians. The 35-year-old was retained for Rs 6 crore ahead of the IPL 2022 mega-auction. He has scored 144 runs from 11 games in this season so far. Rohit Sharma said that the West Indies came up with the idea of sitting out for a youngster.
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“He (Pollard) was the one who came up to us and he was ready for it. We want to try out a few players, got to see what they have to offer. Looks a good track, hope it plays well throughout the 40 overs. It’s brilliant to play against Chennai, it’s always like that. We need to try and win the game,” Rohit Sharma said at the toss.
Kieron Pollard, who made his IPL debut in 2012, has played 189 games, scoring 3,412 runs at a strike rate of 147.32 and claiming 69 wickets.
Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni(w/c), Dwayne Bravo, Maheesh Theekshana, Simarjeet Singh, Mukesh Choudhary
Mumbai Indians (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Tilak Varma, Tristan Stubbs, Ramandeep Singh, Tim David, Daniel Sams, Kumar Kartikeya, Hrithik Shokeen, Jasprit Bumrah, Riley Meredith