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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014
Last two games good wakeup call
Harbhajan Singh
May 19, 2011
First Published: 23:34 IST(19/5/2011)
Last Updated: 23:37 IST(19/5/2011)

The last two games were tough for the Mumbai Indians. After doing reasonably well for almost a month, we faltered a bit and now the time has come to get the momentum back. These are the most important 10 days of the IPL and performance in these days will be key.

The reason for losing the last two games was that we didn’t execute our skills well. In Mohali, against the Kings XI Punjab on a good batting wicket, we didn't chase well. And against the Deccan Chargers, on a tricky pitch, we somehow lost the plot.

LESSONS LEARNT
In a format like the T20, structuring your innings is a different kind of art. If you lose too many wickets upfront, it's difficult to repair as the batsman coming in is always under pressure to get runs. He can't take too many balls to settle.

AIMING FOR THE TOP
The last two games were a good wakeup call as we lost the top slot.  So, in the last two games we have to get back to the top. I am confident that we will emerge better and stronger from this little hiccup.

This year, reaching the final-four isn’t enough. It’s important to finish as the number one or two team as this will give you one extra chance to reach the finals.

As we are getting into the fag end of the long cricketing summer, wickets are more roughed up and getting slower. Due to the intense heat, it's not easy to bind the wickets. Most of these grounds were hosting the World Cup games and, as a result, there is a lot of wear and tear. So, the dynamics of par scores will change in the last week of the tournament.

ROLE OF SPINNERS
Anything above 140 will be a challenging total. So while bowling you can't give away too many runs. The spinners’ role will become even more important and most of the matches will be won and lost on how well teams tackle this factor. 

PMG
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