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Pressure will be on opposition

The pressure will be on them as they will be playing in front of their home crowd, and as you can imagine, the expectations are huge, writes Anil Kumble.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2010 00:21 IST

When this tournament began, the aim of every team was to make it to the final four. It’s such a long tournament that there are no guarantees of getting there, irrespective of the kind of team you have or how you’ve prepared. At this stage, though, with the 56 league games done, it doesn’t really matter how you got to the semis. What’s important is that you’re there. From here on, for each of the semifinalists, it’s a matter of two wins and you have your hands on the trophy. That’s exactly how we will look at it.

It’s a bit disappointing that the semifinals have moved from Bangalore to Mumbai. On two separate grounds this is significant. Firstly, on the cricketing front, we would have liked to play on the wicket at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. But even on a different note, whenever we stepped onto the field in our home ground we knew that the entire crowd was behind us. For the cricket-loving public of Bangalore it’s a huge disappointment that the semifinals have been shifted out, because they will miss out on watching the action live.

Mumbai have been the form-team all tournament, first to qualify for the semifinals and in many ways the team to beat. They have the home advantage in the semifinal against us, but they might find that this is a two-edged sword. The pressure will be on them as they will be playing in front of their home crowd, and as you can imagine, the expectations are huge. When it comes to a situation like this, the knockout stage of a big tournament, it usually boils down to which team holds its nerve better.

What we will take into the game is the confidence that we travelled to Mumbai early in the tournament and beat them. On that occasion, we restricted them to just over 150 and then knocked off the runs with seven wickets in hand.

On the return leg, when the Mumbai Indians came to Bangalore we lost, but the way we look at it, we’re playing in Mumbai and we’re going to take the positives from that win. As a team we like to focus on the positives and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

When I came to the DY Patil Stadium for the inauguration ceremony, I had one eye on the venue, which seems a world-class ground. I thought to myself then that it would be great to get here to play the final, as the semifinals were scheduled for Bangalore. We’re here a game early and hopefully we’ll make the most of it.

Hawkeye Communications

First Published: Apr 21, 2010 00:18 IST