As the Mumbai Indians get set to feature in only their second IPL final, they will be hoping for a reversal in fortunes from 2010 when the Chennai Super Kings trumped them in the title clash. This time around MI not only have a 2-1 season advantage over CSK, but they also are fresh off a confidence-boosting chase against the Rajasthan Royals.
MI coach, John Wright, who addressed the media ahead of the IPL 2013 Finals, even highlighted how his team’s Playoffs loss against CSK will not have any bearing on their confidence.
“We are pleased to be here. We played a big game last night. We are all really excited about the finals. We know that when we are good, we are very good and that is what we want tomorrow,” Wright said.
He also pointed out the importance of MI’s strong leadership group that comprises some of the biggest names in the game.
“We have a lot of good leadership. A lot of our leadership comes from the players on the field and we work together,” said Wright. “Anil Kumble is our team mentor, and he is very important; he is the boss. Ricky Ponting is also important. Although he has not played for a while, he is important to us. Rohit Sharma has done a great job. I am just there in the background.”
Wright said that the key for MI this year was their gelling together as a team and enjoying their time with each other. He also pointed out the impact MI’s sizable fan base has had on motivating the team to performing well, especially at home where they had a perfect record this season.
“We try to enjoy our cricket and we also try to express that on the field. I think it is a great league, and there are only tough games in this competition. Tomorrow is also another tough game,” Wright added.
While MI look like a strong unit all set to take on the CSK juggernaut, they are likely to miss out on the services of Sachin Tendulkar, who is still recovering form injury. “Sachin is doubtful for tomorrow. We will take a call tomorrow,” said Wright. “He is still a big part of our team, whether he is playing or not. So we are just happy to have him here. And Aditya Tare has come in and done a great job for us (in his absence).”
Wright also lavished praise on Rohit Sharma, who took over the captaincy role mid season. “Rohit has done an outstanding job. It was a great challenge, which he embraced. I think he has shown great potential, and I think he has done a very good job for us as a captain. He is an extremely talented batsman. I know he is looking forward to tomorrow,” Wright said.
Meanwhile, the MI coach also pointed out the importance of having the likes of Ponting, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Sushant Marathe in their ranks. He said that while these good players do not feature in the playing XI too often, they add value to the side when it comes to preparing for big games like the IPL Final.