Hardik Pandya hails Romario Shepherd after MI's win over Delhi Capitals

"That was some hitting," he said about Romario's 39 not out from 10 balls

Romario Shepherd of MI Mumbai Indians' Romario Shepherd bowls against Delhi Capitals | AFP

Hardik Pandya cannot thank Mumbai Indians management enough for their empathy, love and care which kept the team going even after losing the first three games under his captaincy.

His return to Mumbai Indians as captain, replacing their five-time IPL-winning skipper Rohit Sharma, did not sit well with fans as he faced constant booing during first three games, including the previous one at the Wankhede.

The three losses to start the season added to the woes and Pandya found himself under intense scrutiny.

"There was a lot of love and care going around, everyone knows we lost three games but the belief and backing was there, everyone believes we needed just one win and today was the start," Pandya said at the post-match presentation following their 29-run win over Delhi Capitals here.

"It was a lot of hard work. We had to clear our minds and make sure that we believed," said the skipper as his team played the first game after six-day break.

Batting at No 7, Guyanese all-rounder Romario Shepherd single-handedly took the match out of DC's reach, smashing Anrish Nortje for 32 runs in the last over.

"That was some hitting," he said about Romario's 39 not out from 10 balls.

"He won us the game. Difference was Romario versus Delhi Capitals. I like him. Always has a smile on his face, doesn't run away," he said.

MI have finally got their combination right and this is the way forward, said Hardik.

"We will be making tactical changes here and there but this will be our 12 and settling our team now is important."

Hardik was not seen bowling in the past two games and the star India all-rounder said he would bowl at the "right time".

"I am fine. I'll be bowling at the right time, we had everything covered today so did not have to roll my arms over," he said.

Shepherd approached with a clear mind and said his hard work at the nets has "paid off".

"My hard work has paid off. I have put in a lot of hard work in the nets. I think you just have to keep a clear mind (when batting at the end).

"He (Tim David) said no you stay there (strike) and you hit. I was in a good position to capitalise on that ball."

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