Sachin Tendulkar is enjoying his cricket: John Wright
Mumbai Indians have been slow off the blocks in the Champions League T20, but have managed to strike rich form just when it mattered.
Having beaten Perth Scorchers convincingly in the do-or-die league match on Wednesday, Rohit Sharma & Co are eager to topple Trinidad & Tobago in the semi-finals at the Feroz Shah Kotla this evening.
But one player, who has not been able to join the party just yet, is Sachin Tendulkar, who failed in three consecutive innings, scoring 15, 5 and 0 respectively. Fans will be hoping he turns the tide today. “Sachin is fine. He’s in good touch. He’s hitting the ball beautifully. His experience will play an important role on Kotla’s slow track which is conducive to spin bowling,” said John Wright, the coach of Mumbai Indians. Sachin is enjoying his cricket. It’s great for him to be playing the semi-final and hopefully the final. He’s very excited, and we’re pleased for him too. He likes the big occasions,” added Wright.
MI meanwhile, had to cancel their practice at the Kotla due to rains on Friday afternoon. They experienced a similar situation in Ahmedabad when their match against Otago was washed out on Sept 23. “We’ve had rains before, I hope it stays away today. Everyone will do everything to make sure we get a game,” said Wright.
The former India coach hoped Mumbai would be able to unleash the same aggression that they had managed against their Aussie opponents. “I just want them to play aggressively, without any sort of doubt creeping into their system. They are hungry to win and hopefully we can manage that.”
Wright also showered praise on skipper Sharma, who is revelling in his role at the moment. “Rohit has fitted in very quickly and very well. Not only has he led by example with the bat, but he’s been sound tactically too. We’re thrilled about his performance. We’re happy a Mumbai cricketer is leading the team.”
Although Mumbai are on a high, they can’t afford to take their opponents lightly and are expected to be tested by spinner Sunil Narine. “We know what Sunil can do and the opposition knows what Sunil can do. They always look to play out his overs and hope not to give him wickets. His overs are crucial and that puts pressure on the batting team and they look to take advantage of the other bowlers, who have done very well,” said T&T coach David Williams.