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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014
Teams have got smarter in planning
Anil Kumble, Hindustan Times
April 27, 2013
First Published: 01:11 IST(27/4/2013)
Last Updated: 01:14 IST(27/4/2013)

We are getting to that stage of the competition that is generally referred to as the 'business end', with the race for qualification spots gathering momentum. The next week or so will offer a clearer picture on which six teams will be vying for the four play-off spots.

We at Mumbai Indians aren't looking that far ahead. We are focused on the job at hand, which involves two matches on the trot at the Wankhede, and we are confident after having defeated KKR in their backyard.

The one thing that has been noticeable is that teams and players have become smarter in planning and execution.

Teams that used to be practically unbeatable at home have had their perfect home record breached, but that is more because other units have worked out what the right combinations are, which personnel to use at which venues.

There has also been a perceptible shift in mindset, with teams more comfortable using skilled players to do the job rather than relying on bits-and-pieces cricketers.

There has also been a marked difference in the approach to run chases. Even when confronted with totals of 160 and above, there is no early panic. Plenty of sides have been happy to keep wickets in hand for a final assault, confident in their ability to chase down even 55-60 runs in the last five overs, and that has been CSK's game plan for a while now.

Hawkeye/Chivach Sports

The writer is former India skipper


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