Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians bid for IPL final
Sachin Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians are hoping the momentum from back-to-back wins will carry them into the IPL final in Friday's qualifier against Royal Challengers Bangalore.cricket Updated: May 27, 2011 18:41 IST
Sachin Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians are hoping the momentum from back-to-back wins will carry them into the IPL final in Friday's qualifier against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mumbai looked in danger of missing the play-offs but two victories against Kolkata Knight Riders have revived their campaign in the glitzy Twenty20 competition.
A win against Bangalore will take Tendulkar's men into a Saturday's title clash against defending champions Chennai, and offer them a chance to avenge their defeat against the same rivals in last year's final.
"It's obviously a knockout game for us," said Mumbai coach Robin Singh Thursday. "We have done pretty well against Bangalore in the few outings we have had in the past.
"But this is a fresh game and we have to start from scratch. We have to refocus and regroup because the stakes are really high."
Bangalore will be counting once again on hard-hitting West Indies opener Chris Gayle to fire with the bat.
Gayle has been instrumental in guiding Bangalore to the play-offs, having scored 519 runs from 10 innings at a strike rate of 184 after joining the franchise as a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes.
"You can't ignore the fact that Gayle is in terrific form," said Singh, a former India all-rounder.
"But we have been bowling exceptionally well. You have to back yourself to bowl well against anyone. We have thought about how we want to go about things. We have our own plans ready for what we would like to do."
Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori also praised Gayle but dismissed the suggestion that his side were too dependent on the muscular left-hander.
"We know Chris has played well and he has been the main scorer for us this season, winning so many games for us. But we have other batsmen like Virat Kohli who have stepped up and performed when needed," Vettori said.
"So if Gayle has an off-day, we are still confident that we can win games."
Mumbai are high on confidence following a spectacular last-ball victory against Kolkata in the final league game and another by four wickets with four balls to spare in the first play-off on Wednesday.
But Mumbai may bring in Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds to replace West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard, who has just 143 runs from 15 matches with a high score of 28.