The recently concluded IPL 2023 witnessed a multitude of last-over finishes, placing immense pressure on death-over bowlers. One such intense moment occurred in the final match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans (GT) when Mohit Sharma had a remarkable start to the over. However, it all changed in an instant as CSK’s Ravindra Jadeja displayed a moment of brilliance, leading CSK to a five-wicket victory and their fifth IPL title. Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar criticized GT captain Hardik Pandya for his team’s loss.
In a rain-affected game at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Chennai required 13 runs in the last over to chase down a revised target of 171 in 15 overs. Hardik entrusted Mohit, who had been the standout bowler for GT, with the crucial final over. Mohit began the over with four consecutive yorkers against Jadeja and Shivam Dube, conceding just three runs. His execution seemed flawless and he appeared confident in his approach. However, he faltered on the two most critical deliveries, which were struck for a six over long-on and a four past short fine leg, ultimately sealing CSK’s victory.
Expressing his dissatisfaction, Gavaskar criticized Hardik for distracting Mohit in the last two balls. Gavaskar referred to the incident when water was sent to Mohit before the penultimate ball, followed by Hardik engaging in a discussion with the bowler. Gavaskar believed this intervention was unnecessary when Mohit was executing his plan effectively.
“He bowled that first 3-4 deliveries absolutely brilliantly. Then for some strange reason some water was sent to him, in the middle of an over. Then Hardik came and spoke to him. When the bowler is in that rhythm and he is mentally also there, nobody should have said anything to him. Nothing at all. From a distance just say well bowled. Going to him, talking to him, that wasn’t the right thing to do. Suddenly Mohit was looking here and there,” Gavaskar expressed his displeasure while speaking to India Today.
The incident highlighted the importance of maintaining a bowler’s focus and rhythm during crucial moments, emphasizing the need for effective communication and support from team members.