Abu Dhabi: Hardik Pandya came up with the goods with the bat as he smashed an unbeaten 40* off 30 balls to steer Mumbai Indians over the line against Punjab Kings on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi. Rohit reckoned it was important for Hardik to spend time in the middle as he is coming off an injury. Calling it a ‘tough’ call, he also spoke of it being difficult to drop young Ishan Kishan.Also Read - Dinesh Karthik Loves Virat Kohli's Reaction Towards Journalist For Asking Question on Rohit Sharma After Pakistan Hammer India in T20 WC

“The way he (Hardik) understood the situation was very crucial from a team’s perspective, it’s important for him to spend the time in the middle as he’s coming back from a injury. It’s a tough call (on dropping Ishan Kishan) and he seems very confident and the reply you get from him was very boosting as well. We are gonna back him (Ishan Kishan) as he’s a very important player for us.” he said at the post-match presentation. Also Read - Ind vs Pak, T20 WC: Jasprit Bumrah Not Bowling First Over to No Ravi Ashwin; Three Possible Mistakes Virat Kohli Committed

Admitting that MI did not play to their potential, Rohit said it is a long tournament and the side needs to stick to their plans. Also Read - IND vs PAK T20 World Cup 2021 Match Report: Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam Star as Pakistan Live Up To Unpredictable Tag, Crush India by 10 Wickets in Super 12 Battle

“We do agree that we didn’t play to our potential, but it’s a long tournament and we need to stick to our plans and reading the situations is very important and we can take a lot of confidence from that. Important not to lose the guard,” he added.

With the win, MI climb to the fifth spot and they are behind KKR, while Punjab remains at the sixth spot. Unfortunately, Rajasthan slips to the seventh spot even without playing.

Mumbai takes on Delhi in their next game which would once again be a must-win match for them.