We have plans for Gayle: Pollock

MI bowling mentor quietly confident about his wards combating RCB’s big guns

By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 13 May 2012
With Rohit Sharma storming his way back into form with a century against KKR and Herschelle Gibbs hitting the ground running after returning from a finger injury, the Mumbai Indians look a different side now. As they take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, they have a chance to avenge their crushing home defeat. Sitting in third place in the points table, MI will also look to widen the one-point gap between themselves and RCB to press a claim on a playoff spot.

Shaun Pollock, MI’s bowling mentor, spoke to the media ahead of the crucial game. Without revealing much, he assured that his team has plans for RCB’s two big guns – Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers.

The Chris Gayle factor

At the moment, what separates him from the others is the fact that he’s consistent. There are many people who can hit the ball hard, but he’s been doing it consistently. We realise that he’s a very important player for them and we’ve come with our plans to combat that. If we get him early, it will be a big blow for RCB.

AB de Villiers

There’s no doubt he’s a quality player and is now leading South Africa. The first time I saw him, I knew he’ll be a quality cricketer. Along with Gayle, he’s a big player for them. I hope he doesn’t play well against us, and when South Africa go to the World Twenty20 [hope] he’s brilliant.

Lack of yorkers in T20

I played in the pre-T20 era when people like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were brilliant in bowling those yorkers. But fortunately for them there was no one playing the paddles, the reverse paddle sweeps and all those different shots. If batsmen play straight down the ground, the yorkers are No.1 option. But when batsmen go down on their knee to sweep one to the fine-leg or third man when it is up, it is quite tough to pull off the yorker. Having said that, it is still the most effective delivery in cricket and the guys practise it. But nowadays, it is important to know when to bowl it.

Abu Nechim’s absence this season

There’s nothing stopping him from going [to] the next level. It’s just that the MI attack has changed from the last year. Last year, we didn’t have guys like RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha. These are both India international bowlers, and when you have them, there’s not much opportunity for guys like Nechim. We have some other fine bowlers like Dhawal Kulkarni and Rahul Shukla as well. As a coach, it’s frustrating for me that these guys are not getting opportunities because when you work so hard on the players, you want to see how they’re responding. But the team’s make-up doesn’t allow them all a place in the playing XI.

Herschell Gibbs’ return

Gibbs opened in the last game for us. Unfortunately, he wasn’t available for us in the previous games as he had broken his finger and was out for five weeks.
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