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IPL 9: Nothing wrong with Wankhede wicket, says Harbhajan Singh

Mumbai Indians veteran star Harbhajan Singh blames poor shot selection for defending champions' crushing defeat to IPL debutants Rising Pune Supergiants in opening clash on Saturday

Mumbai Indians off-spinner Harbhajan Singh did not blame the seaming Wankhede Stadium wicket for their nine-wicket, crushing defeat in the Indian Premier League opener against Rising Pune Supergiants on Saturday.

IPL 9: Opening blues for Mumbai Indians yet again

Rising Pune Supergiants' Ishant Sharma celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma (right) during the IPL opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Rising Pune Supergiants' Ishant Sharma celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma (right) during the IPL opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The senior player instead pointed to poor shot selection as the main reason for their loss.

Mumbai Indians were 68-7 at one stage before Harbhajan's 30-ball 45 helped the defending champions post a respectable total of 121-8.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh

Pune rode on Ajinkya Rahane's unbeaten 66 and Faf du Plessis' 34 as the visitors achieved the target with 32 balls to spare.

Wankhede diary: Back-on-turf Tendulkar is adored again

Harbhajan was asked if the seaming wicket made batting difficult for MI, who won the toss and elected to bat. "The Mumbai wicket is difficult to bat on?" was Bhajji's counter question. "Mumbai's wicket is probably the best to bat on. Poor shot selection made us land where we are today. We just need to work on our game a bit more. Sometimes we think there's hardly any time in the middle. But we need to take more time as a batting unit," said Harbhajan.

"Even as a bowling unit we need to come out with a better plan. There was nothing wrong with the wicket. It's a great cricketing wicket and probably a top wicket. We did not play well and that's why we are not happy. Hopefully, we will pull up our socks and play better cricket in future," he added. MI will hope to solve their batting woes before they face Kolkata Knight Riders in their away game at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

Pune's Rahane said timing the ball well was important on the seaming Wankhede wicket. "I felt it was important to time the ball well. When we were bowling, the ball was stopping and seaming a bit. It was important to take my time and finish the game. It was a slightly different kind of Wankhede wicket. It was holding up and for the first six overs, it was doing a lot," said Rahane.

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