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MI batsman hopes his team heads into the IPL 2012 playoffs on a winning note
By IPL Staff
Jaipur 19 May 2012
The Mumbai Indians will take on the Rajasthan Royals in the last game of the league phase in IPL 2012 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Sunday. While the Rahul Dravid-led side will look to finish the season on a high with a victory in front of their home crowd, MI will be keen to head into the playoffs on a winning note. Ahead of the match, Rohit Sharma addressed the media during practice.
Excerpts from his pre-match press interaction:
On whether they will go all-out in the match tomorrow
We have to go all-out. It doesn’t matter where Rajasthan is [placed in the points-table] at the moment. We know they are out [of the tournament] but still we will have to play a game of cricket. I know they would look to finish on a high note. But we can’t take them lightly thinking that they are out of contention and they will play some loose cricket. We are ready for them [and] we have to do whatever we can [to win]. Yes, it is an important game for us to win. On Sachin Tendulkar being due for a big knock
It will come. He has already played a beautiful innings against Chennai Super Kings [...]. He has got so many runs over the years, I don’t think he needs to be in form or something like that. He has already been batting well. It is just a matter of another good innings, which I hope, is going to come tomorrow. On whether he is happy with his own form
I am very happy with whatever I have been doing. When you are in form, you need to make sure of getting the team into good position when you are there in the middle. I am just trying to [do that]. [...]Tomorrow again I have got an opportunity to go there and perform. Hopefully, I will try and emulate what I have been doing in the last fifteen games. The confidence is there. Tomorrow, if I can get some more runs, it will really help the team and that’s what we want.
On whether they will experiment with the top order for tackling Ajit Chandila given the way they played against Sunil Narine
I don’t think so. [Herschelle] Gibbs is in good form. He has already got a half-century and Sachin is opening with him, [so] I don’t think there is any problem there. Sunil Narine is an exceptional bowler. He has been doing well. I don’t want to talk about the opposition here. We know that they have got good bowling line-up, [but] if you play normal cricket, I am sure we can tackle any bowler. We just need to get off to a good start and capitalize on that. We know that the outfield here is very fast and the wicket is good. We have seen some big scores here on this ground, so it is just about [doing well in] the first six overs. If you get [off] to good start then its up to the middle order and the lower order to get to a good total. On MI performing consistently
We accept that we haven’t played the way we wanted to play. People say we haven’t played to our potential, [but] still we are at No.3 [in the points table]. So, if we as a team can play to our potential, I am sure we are going to do well. [...] I think we are peaking at the right time. Our fielding has been brilliant throughout the season; our bowling has been brilliant. It is just that somehow in few games, [the] batting [department] haven’t managed to chase smaller totals. But we have won few close games [and] it’s not that easy. I am not blaming our batting line-up here [as] chasing 16 runs in the last over is never a easy job. We have done it [approximately] three times, I guess. Our batting has been terrific. We just need to go out and enjoy, which I think everyone is doing. [...] It’s just the matter of time. We have got one more game against Rajasthan [Royals], [and] hopefully, we can click together in all the departments. [That] will really help us in the playoffs.
The Pune Warriors India will clash with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 70 of DLF IPL 2012.
With this being their final league fixture of the season, both teams will want to finish on a high. The incentive for the Pune Warriors India (who’ve lost eight matches on the trot) will be to stem their poor run and finish better than they did in their first season in IPL. In 2011, PWI won only four of their 14 matches and finished at the bottom of the table. This time around, they’ve already won four games and this match against KKR gives them the chance to improve on their performance in IPL 2011.
The incentive for the Kolkata Knight Riders is to win here and seal a berth among the top two in the league standings. Unlike in the conventional knockout format, the IPL playoff format offers the loser of the game between the top two teams a second hit at making it to the final.
The Kolkata Knight Riders come into this contest after convincingly beating the Mumbai Indians in a low-scoring game at the Wankhede Stadium on May 16, while Sourav Ganguly’s boys last tasted success close to a month ago. When
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Though he is among the top three run-getters for PWI, Sourav Ganguly hasn’t looked as fluent as one expected him to be. He has lacked the consistency, and has scored his 263 runs at a run-a-ball. Given that this could well be his last outing as a player, expect the Prince of Kolkata to come out all guns blazing and finish with a flourish.
Keen an eye on Steve Smith too; apart from the runs he’s scored, the 22-year-old has been a bundle of energy and a pleasure to watch on the field.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have ridden on the success of their skipper Gautam Gambhir and spinner Sunil Narine. Gambhir is the second-highest run-getter in the season with 546 runs, while Narine holds the Purple Cap with 21 wickets. Given the kind of form they’ve been in, it would be only be fair to expect more from them. Previous Meetings
The number 7 stands out as the margin of victory in both of Kolkata Knight Riders’ victories over Pune Warriors India.
When these two teams met for the first time in IPL 2011, KKR chased down 119 to win by seven wickets, while in the most recent meeting at Kolkata earlier this season, KKR posted 150 for five and then restricted PWI to 143 for eight, to win by seven runs. Trivia
The Kolkata Knight Riders have conceded the fewest boundaries in IPL 2012; they’ve only given away 152 fours and 57 sixes in their 15 matches.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have hit the fewest sixes in IPL 2012; they’ve only hit 55 sixes in their 15 matches this season.
The record for most consecutive defeats in the IPL is eight – KKR lost eight matches on the trot in IPL 2009. What next?
For the Pune Warriors India, this will be the end of the road as far as IPL 2012 is concerned. For the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have already qualified for the playoffs, a victory in this match will mean a finish among the top two teams in the points table, while a defeat will mean they will have to await results from other matches.