IPL 2017 final: Rising Pune Supegiant gave us wake-up calls, says Mumbai Indians coach | ipl 2017 | Hindustan Times
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IPL 2017 final: Rising Pune Supegiant gave us wake-up calls, says Mumbai Indians coach

Two-time Indian Premier League champions Mumbai Indians have lost all three of their games against Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017. They would look to change the trend in Sunday’s final.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 21, 2017 09:55 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma (R) and Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steve Smith (L) pose with the IPL 2017 trophy on the eve of the final in Hyderabad.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma (R) and Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steve Smith (L) pose with the IPL 2017 trophy on the eve of the final in Hyderabad.(PTI)

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene showed how ahead of a final, a team needs to turn something negative into a positive vibe by referring to their hat-trick of defeats against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) into wake-up calls that helped.

“First, we needed to get the monkey off our back that we have been slow starters. Pune gave us a wake-up call. We realised that we have to play better cricket than that. We got into a sort of momentum, won a few close matches and again, they gave us a wake-up call mid-season,” said Jayawardene ahead of Sunday’s IPL 2017 final here.

READ | IPL 2017 final: Mumbai Indians eye 3rd title, Rising Pune Supergiant their 1st

“We have had a good team effort in a tough tournament where teams can beat any other side on their day. And Pune again gave us wake-up call which meant we had to go to Bangalore and play good cricket to come here. So, it’s good.”

His skipper too put a positive spin to a hat-trick of reversals against RPS. “We have not had a great experience against Pune but that was because we didn’t play good cricket on those days. Tomorrow, we are playing at a neutral venue. We need to rectify our mistakes and ensure that we are better and focus on what we need to do as a team. It is important to stay in the zone and not get too excited,” said Rohit Sharma.

The MI skipper didn’t make much of some of his key players under-performing, preferring to focus instead on the collective effort that has taken them to one game from an unprecedented third IPL title. “If the key players haven’t performed as expected it is also because they haven’t had enough opportunities, so I am not worried,” he said.

That’s where Jayawardene becomes such a major influence. “He has been in this position so many times for Sri Lanka. His experience is key to our success. He makes sure we don’t get too excited and knows what a team needs to do when you have the momentum and when you lose games,” said Rohit.

When the conversation turned to the wicket, Jayawardene said they are not looking at any target “because we struggled to defend 180, 190 at Wankhede. We need to see what the wicket offers us tomorrow and adapt to the conditions which is what a good team should do,” he said.

READ | Rohit Sharma, Steve Smith play down head-to-head results on eve of IPL 2017 final

Crucial to doing that is to let the boys enjoy themselves, said Jayawardene. As for his role, well, “it is good that the effort put in since the auction, the planning for back-ups because the England boys would leave” have all worked out. So for Jayawardene it is a time to sit back and enjoy.

McClenaghan to be assessed

Mitchell McClenaghan’s condition will be assessed at the ground on Sunday, said Rohit. One of MI’s go-to players, the Kiwi missed the second qualifier against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday because of injury.