Just want to focus on next game: Rayudu

MI batsman also talks about his match-winning knock against RCB

Bengaluru 14 May 2012
The Mumbai Indians looked down and out after they lost Sachin Tendulkar, Herschelle Gibbs and Rohit Sharma in the first four overs while chasing 172. Wickets kept falling and the hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore looked set to secure the all-important two points. However, after the game, it is MI that sits pretty in second position on the points table.

The win was possible because of a nerve-racking, unbeaten 122-run partnership between Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard at a run-rate of 11.26. Rayudu dominated the partnership with his first match-winning innings. He finished with an undefeated 81 off 54 balls that included six fours and four sixes.

The Man-of-the-Match was all smiles after the win, which has taken MI a step closer to the playoffs. He took time out to talk to about the match and striking form with the bat at the right time.

What a time to play this knock!

It was an important knock as getting over the line was very important.

When you and Pollard came together, what was the talk between you two?

We were sure that if we bat throughout the 20 overs, we could pull it off. We are happy that we chased the total down.

Talk about your partnership with Pollard.

We both have had lot of experience batting together since the third season [IPL 2010] and we are good friends even off the field.

Do you think the team is peaking at the right time?

I don’t want to comment on that. I am happy that we are getting over the line.

MI have played some really close games in this tournament. Did that experience help you handle the pressure in this game?

This season, the other teams have got a lot better and they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses as teams. We have been pushed to the limits and haven’t got anything easy. We are happy to win the games.

You couldn’t have picked a better time to strike form.

I am not too sure if we have qualified for the playoffs yet. We would just like to keep it simple and focus on the next game.

What did Sachin Tendulkar tell you when you returned after winning the match?

He had told me during the match that if I bat for 20 overs, I’d win the match. When I returned, he caught hold of me and said, “I had told you so”.

Did your eyes light up when you and Pollard saw Chris Gayle coming in to bowl the final over?

We knew that they will have to bowl a non regular bowler and we were happy to see him bowl. I did not want to take a single off the first ball, but it hit my leg and that was disappointing. I am happy that Pollard finished it off, but I would have loved to finish it off.
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