Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) Mumbai Indians regular skipper Ricky Ponting, who has been struggling with the bat, willingly opted out of the team for the crucial tie against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens Wednesday.
"Ponting himself opted to sit out today's (Wednesday) game. We wanted to get our foreign players' combination right, and he volunteered to stay out. It takes a big heart to take such a decision," stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma said at the post match conference.
Ponting, who so far has managed just 52 runs from five innings, did not come out to bat even in the last match against Delhi Daredevils despite opening the innings for his team in previous matches.
Sharma expressed happiness after registering a five wicket win over the Knights, saying the result was crucial for the Mumbai franchise's endeavour to reach the eliminators.
"We have been playing well on our home ground and it is important that we win the away games. It was a satisfying win as well as crucial for our campaign," said Sharma.
Despite playing a crucial knock of 34, Sharma expressed disappointment for getting out at a crucial juncture.
"It was disappointing to get out, but I am glad that we did not lose the game," said Sharma.
The Mumbai skipper was also all praise for man of the match Dwayne Smith whose blistering 45-ball-62 powered Mumbai to surpass the 160 set by KKR.