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Pitch and Marsh worry Wessels

Though Mohali were ranked second in the league table and had been fairly consistent throughout, they lost both their league games against Chennai, reports KR Guruprasad.

cricket Updated: May 31, 2008 00:32 IST
K R Guruprasad

As Chennai and Mohali geared up for their semi-final clash of the Indian Premier League, the first question in the pre-match conference revolved around Shaun Marsh, whose batting has been a revelation in the tournament.

Chennai coach Kepler Wessels was asked how they planned to deal with him and he said: "Well, we have seen him play a lot. And we have obviously got plans for him," the South African said on Friday. "But we are not going to reveal anything here. You will get to see them tomorrow."

Though Mohali were ranked second in the league table and had been fairly consistent throughout, they lost both their league games against Chennai. "Of course we beat them in the first match when we had our best or say the strongest line-up," said Wessles. "And later on we redefined our combination and beat them again. So we will take that confidence into the semi-finals.

"But semi-final is an entity all of its own. Whatever happened before does not count for too much on the day. So, it's a 50-50 match and the team that does its basic the best and holds its nerve on the day will win."

Chennai, however, had lost to Mumbai in the league match at Wankhede Stadium, the venue of their semi-final, and in that match the ball moved around a bit. "Yeah, you have to bat very well as a top order batsman here," Wessels said.

"The last match we played here against Mumbai, the pitch helped the ball move very well. Shaun Pollock in particular exploited the conditions perfectly. As a top-order batsman your shot selection and your batting plan here is important."

Wessels said they would watch the first semi-final to see how the pitch behaves. "We are going to have a look at the first semi-final and see how the pitch behaves because it is more than likely that we will get the same strip to play on. So, we will have a fair idea of how the pitch will behave, which I think is an advantage for both teams."

With the departure of Stephen Fleming ahead of the semi-final, Chennai have been forced to do some last-minute changes. Wessels said he was not going to give away any more details about the changes. "Yeah, the team has been selected but I am not going to reveal anything about it here. We have selected a team, which is slightly different from the one that played in the last two matches."And we are quite happy with that. We think it's a strong Twenty20 combination.”