In the look ahead to the IPL 2017 Qualifier between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant, MI coach Mahela Jayawardene has shared that the team is in positive spirits and eager to face RPS’ challenge in their own backyard. “It’s going to be a very, very good game. Pune is a very good side and I’m definitely looking forward to that challenge,” he said in a segment called ‘Coach Cam’ on Mumbai Indians’ official Instagram account. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
“The entire squad is in very good spirits. They’ve been training really hard. It’s been great so far, we just need to continue to do that. And keep it simple. It’s good to be playing at our home venue. I am sure the fans will come and support us,” he further added.
Mumbai come into the contest on the back of a 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders which highlighted the team’s bench strength with key members of the squad given rest. MI were already assured of a top-two finish before the match took place and this helped some members of the side unwind by sitting it out in the dugout and not sweating it out in the field – something that would give them an advantage against Pune. “Knowing that we’ll have a playoff to come as well we wanted to rest a few of our bowlers. And it gave us a opportunity to try out our bench strength. I think we still played the brand of cricket that we want Mumbai Indians to play,” he said. “I think Kolkata is a strong team. They need to win that match to finish in the top two as well,” he added. Kolkata Knight Riders finished fourth in the IPL table and will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator.
In their previous home game, MI tasted a narrow 7-run defeat over KXIP. Kings XI Punjab opted to bat first and put up a massive 230 runs on board – something MI couldn’t match in their chase. “We had a tough game against KXIP. But lot of positives to take from that,” said the former Sri Lanka batsman.