Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Time to get ruthless | Column by Sanath Jayasuriya


MI Will Have To Cut Down On Errors As Contest Hots Up


AT the moment the Mumbai Indians are blowing hot and cold. We are doing lots of things right and there have been lots of positives in the first half of the tournament, but with the players and the management team we have, it is naturally disappointing to be in the lower half of the points table.

However, it is crucial that we stay cool and remain focused on each game. Such is the nature of this tournament, with seven teams jockeying for semifinal berths, that every game is like a final. There is no need to panic. We have to back ourselves. We have the talent and the experience.

The turnaround in Bangalore’s fortunes just shows how unpredictable this tournament has become. A week ago after four consecutive defeats, they looked downcast, their hopes just started to fade. However, now, they are right back in the tournament.

Losing against them was a big disappointment, but cred
it to Jacques Kallis and Robin Uthappa, who batted brilliantly. To share a 126-run partnership in this form of cricket is not easy. They put our bowlers under pressure and in the end they won easily.

Obviously, the day could not have started much worse with Dillon du Preez taking three wickets in eight balls, including two of our main batters, Sachin and JP Duminy. That really put us on the back-foot and I had to be extra cautious, as did Dwayne Bravo when he came to the crease.
However, we did manage to accelerate. I got out after getting my eye in and that was very frustrating. But we were still happy to reach 149 for 4. We managed to add 48 runs in the last three overs and that gave us a chance. Unfortunately, we could not take more than one early wicket. After that defeat, we now have three days to prepare for the next match. It means some extra rest in what has been quite a hectic tournament. However, we also face the challenge of playing our next two matches against Delhi and Hyderabad, the two original frontrunners for semifinal places.

Obviously, both games are going to be tough, so we’ll first focus on Wednesday night’s clash versus Team Hyderabad. They have now lost Fidel Edwards, who did a decent job with the new ball and hence they’ll have to adjust slightly. They are also struggling to get their momentum going again after their winning start.

We will have to hit them hard and fast so we can get on top early. Now that we are at the business end of the tournament, we have to cut down on mistakes and have to be more ruthless. Every game is crucial and we simply must hit top gear this week

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