The margins were narrow, but our Titans managed to edge Punjab Kings in a thrilling encounter in Mohali. There were some top individual contributions from our camp, but Mohit Sharma stood out for picking two wickets and conceding only 18 runs in his four overs.  

The circumstances were not so easy to deliver a performance of that calibre, conceding at an economy of just 4.50. But Mohit Sharma, who is playing his first TATA IPL match in three years, didn’t let anything stop him from bowling a match-winning spell, which also earned him the Player of the Match. 

Interestingly, the last time he was named Player of the Match in this tournament, he was donning the reds of Punjab Kings (Kings XI Punjab then). Formerly a Purple Cap winner in TATA IPL with Chennai Super Kings in 2014, Mohit Sharma’s debut came after a year-long association with the franchise, as a net bowler and now as a player. 

When the chance finally came, he grasped it with both hands. While it all appears overwhelming on the outside, Mohit emphasised on the importance of keeping it simple and trusting your process, as there is no shortcut to success.

“The things you have been doing for a while, what you’re practising, you have to follow that process and be honest with it. If you are finding excuses, the results will not show up. I was waiting for a long time to get this opportunity and wanted to execute all the good work I did in practice while playing the match,” Mohit Sharma said after the match. 

“Ashu Pa (Ashish Nehra, Head Coach) messaged in the night telling me I will play. I was very happy and excited, at the same time nervous as well as I was playing after a long time. Fortunately, the environment created by the management has helped me ease in. I have a close bond with Mohammad Shami, we have been playing together for many years and even that helped a lot.” 

Skipper Hardik Pandya brought Mohit Sharma into the attack in the 11th over, where he conceded just six runs. In his next two overs, he conceded just six runs and dismissed Jitesh Sharma as well. He returned to bowl the penultimate over of the match, once again keeping it very tight and sent Sam Curran back in the process. Mohit, however, credited the entire team for making his job easy. 

“The way the team bowled in the first 10 overs, it made my job easy. So in some way, my personal performance is a result of the collective bowling effort. Shami, Alzarri, Joshua and Rashid put the pressure, my job was just to maintain it,” Sharma explained.  

Rahul Tewatia was full of praise for his teammate as well, with whom he has been playing cricket since the junior levels. 

“Since my early days, Mohit bhai and I have been practising in the same academy,” Tewatia said in the post-match conference.  

“We bond well and are from the same place as well (Haryana). I look up to him as an elder brother. He helped me a lot when I made my debut for Punjab in 2017, on and off the field. He worked very hard to come back from those injuries and I was very happy watching him play this match. His spell turned the tide in our favour.”

It was a field day for the Titans, who were excellent across all verticals to ensure we emerged victorious. We head back to Ahmedabad to prepare for a replay of last season’s final against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.