MI geared up for RCB clash: Kumble

Mumbai Indians’ chief mentor says team confident of putting up a good show on Saturday

Sharjah 18 April 2014
The Mumbai Indians have not had the best of starts in the tournament. Their bowlers were taken apart by the sheer class of Jacques Kallis and some fearless batting by Manish Pandey, while their batsmen fell to the guile of Sunil Narine and the rest of the KKR bowlers. However, MI’s chief mentor sounded positive ahead of the team’s upcoming game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“It is just the start of the tournament. We have had a slow start, but this is a long tournament and I am sure we will get into our strides very quickly,” Kumble said. “The boys are geared up and are really looking forward to Saturday’s game. It will be nice to win the match.”

Kumble also said that the team had identified the areas the side needed to work on after the loss in their opening game. “We need to improve on all three areas and we have spoken about it over the last couple of days. We are a good side, and it is important that we stick to what we can control and we can achieve on the field, and that is where the focus is. We are pretty confident that we will be able to put a good show tomorrow. Hopefully, we will get the right result.”

Aditya Tare and Michael Hussey opened the batting for MI against KKR. And given that Rohit Sharma has been effective for them as an opener, there were questions raised about the MI skipper possibly opening the batting. “Rohit batted at No.4 for Mumbai Indians last season when we won,” Kumble remarked. “I think Rohit understands that at this point of time, he needs to bat at No.4 where he was extremely successful for the team. We are looking at the team dynamics, rather than what an individual prefers. There is no fixed batting order in a T20 game. It is all about how you feel on that particular day and you change your order according to the situation of the game.”

Barring Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga, the rest of the Mumbai Indians bowlers looked ineffective. Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh were expensive and went wicketless in the game. But Kumble backed the experienced duo to come back strong come Saturday. “The two spinners that we have in our squad are two of the best spinners that we have in India. They showed what they are capable of in the last season and picked up 40 wickets between them. It is still early days in the tournament and I am sure things can only get better. Both are experienced enough and have more than 500 Test wickets, so I don’t think it is a worry.”

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