Akshay Manwani in Bengaluru 23 May 2012 - 01:10am IST
The pressure is on: Pollard
Mumbai Indians all-rounder says playoffs are a fresh start for every team
iplt20.com had an exclusive chat with the dazzling all-rounder on the eve of the match between CSK and MI.
You are through to the playoffs, but you have to win every game from here to win the title. Does that put extra pressure on the team?
Anytime you start a tournament like this, the pressure is on [and] so it’s just another game for us. It is very important that we win this game so that we don’t come fourth in this tournament and enter the semi-finals [Qualifier 2] of the IPL. We have to go there, play to the best of our abilities and once we do our basics right, we can come out on top.
You have beaten CSK on both the occasions in the league stage. Does that give you an edge?
I think all that comes to nothing at the end of the day. We have beaten them twice. They know that and so they will come hard at us. So, it is very important that we stick to our guns. Whatever we have done, in the tournament so far, is history. We just need to win all the games and go forward from here.
Any particular plans against CSK’s middle order, which includes MS Dhoni, Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo?
We have played against them before, so we will have plans. It’s a new game on a new surface. The coaching staff and the management have some plans, and hopefully, the players can go out there and execute them. But they are true world-class players. They can take the game away from you in a second. It’s just a matter of who plays better on that day. It’s a knockout game and the pressure is on. Whoever does the small things right and whoever does not crack under pressure first will come out on top.
CSK has always done well when the wicket is slow and has got some spin. Bengaluru, on the other hand, has given some high-scoring games. Does that give you an edge?
I don’t think so. As I said, they are world-class players, they will be able to adjust to all sorts of conditions. I’m sure they’ve done well on wickets, which haven’t turned as well. They are going to back themselves and back their abilities so it does not give us an edge or advantage. What will give us an advantage is that we do what we can control. We can’t think about what the other team possesses or stuff like that.
You will be happy with your batting as about six of your players have scored more than 200 runs in the competition.
It’s good to know that guys have actually scored runs. Each and every guy in our team has a match-winning score and the ability to go out and produce a big score. It is just a matter of putting it together. We have played enough cricket together to know what is needed and what is required. So hopefully, we can go there and put things right.
You were first noticed in the inaugural edition of Champions League Twenty20 in 2009. MI have now qualified for that competition. Are you happy to get back to that stage?
Obviously, qualifying for Champions League [Twenty20] is something good. That’s where I actually started and got my IPL contract. It’s a great platform for young players playing for their clubs. Trinidad and Tobago is a country, but we consider it a club because it is a part of the West Indies. Hopefully, more young players can come out like Sunil Narine, Kevon Cooper came out of the Champions League [Twenty20] as well and they have done well in the IPL. It’s another stepping stone for each and every individual, and I’m sure each one of us is looking forward to it. The aim was to get into the top four in order to qualify for CLT20, and we have done that.