Mumbai Indians’ Quinton de Kock has rued the lack of support for Hardik Pandya, whose incredible power-hitting kept Kolkata Knight Riders on tenterhooks till the final ball of the 18th over in Kolkata. Chasing 233, Hardik’s 91 from 34 balls kept MI in the hunt till his dismissal swung the game in favour of KKR at the Eden Gardens. “We would have loved a couple of fewer wickets when Kieron (Pollard) and Hardik walked in. But, unfortunately, it didn’t happen today so there’s the collapse and no one batting with Hardik made it harder for us,” the South African said at the post-match news conference Sunday.Also Read - IND vs IRE: Hardik Pandya Backed Umran Malik's Speed in Final Over Against Ireland, Says With His Pace, It's Tough to Get 18 Runs
De Kock got out without opening his account, after top-edging Sunil Narine in the second over. “When you have to score of 233, you need to play one or two shots anyway. You have to try against any bowler who comes on and take a chance to get things going. “So if I hit that ball for four or six, you probably would have said ‘great shot’ but unfortunately I got out so didn’t look,” he said about his slog-sweep. Also Read - WATCH: Sanju Samson's Name Gets Loudest Cheer From Dublin Crowd as Hardik Pandya Announces His Name in Playing XI
The bowlers have too little in the batsmen-dominated format and De Kock said it’s more to do with the batting-friendly sub-continent wickets. “In India, they have generally very small fields, while wicket is batting friendly. Australia has bigger ground, while there’s a bit in the wicket for South Africa. Here it is more batting friendly anyway. Bowlers are always under pressure.” De Kock further said he hated every minute of keeping to Russell who slammed a 40-ball 80 not out. Also Read - Highlights IRE vs IND 2nd T20 Cricket Scorecard: Umran Avoids Last Over Scare As India Won By 4 Runs
“I’m not joking, I hated every minute of it. You can’t fault him. He took his time and then did what he does the best. You just have to appreciate what is done. Not just this game but in the IPL. Hope he doesn’t do it again against us,” he said. Mumbai Indians will have a return-leg clash against KKR on May 5 which will be their last clash in the league round. Needing a win to seal a playoff berth, Mumbai Indians next face Sunrisers Hyderabad at home on May 2.