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Shirin Sadikot in Mumbai 04 May 2013 - 07:09pm IST

Death bowling needs to improve: Karthik

Says important to bat well in the middle and finish off strongly

After three wins on the bounce, Mumbai Indians experienced a bump in their IPL campaign with a seven-wicket loss in Hyderabad. They’re back in Mumbai for two home games, the first of which is against table-toppers Chennai Super Kings.

On the eve of the big game, MI’s in-form batsman, Dinesh Karthik, told the media that the team was confident of putting the defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad behind and getting back on the winning track.

“We’ll need a minimum of three wins from here on to guarantee ourselves a place in the top four. We have six matches left and we are capable of winning three of them. We want to take it one game at a time and do the best that we can,” Karthik said.

The last time MI played CSK (in Chennai) they emerged victorious by nine runs in a last-over thriller. Karthik expects another nail-biting encounter as the two star-studded sides lock horns again.

“It’s a tough game; they’re a good team and have won seven games in a row. It’s going to be a very interesting game. We’ve always had close encounters with CSK and we’re looking forward to this one,” Karthik said.

To succeed against the strong Super Kings, MI will have to take their batting performance a notch higher, especially after their modest 129 total in the last game. For that the team will need an inspired performance from their opening batsmen. Karthik said they are happy with the starts that Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar have provided so far.

“We’re very happy with the way Smith and Sachin paaji are going. They’re getting us starts and at a fair clip as well. So, we’re very happy with the way things are right now. It’s important that we bat well through the middle and finish off well in the end,” he said.

Death bowling is an area where Karthik thought MI needs to improve on. “Our death bowling can get better and it’s an area we’re really working on. We seem to leak runs in the death overs. We seem to depend on Malinga and it’s important that people who bowl around him also do well.”
While we might not see too many changes in the team, MI are in danger of having to take the field without their star West Indian all-rounder, Kieron Pollard, who hurt himself in the finger. Karthik said the decision on his inclusion will be taken just before the match.

“Regarding Pollard’s finger injury the call will be taken before the match. He has been practising so I’m sure he’s feeling better.” 

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