Aware of Kings XI Punjab’s batting prowess, Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond on Wednesday said the defending champions would be look to pick up early wickets to put pressure on the KL Rahul-led side in their next IPL match.
Kings XI openers Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are having a ball with the bat in the ongoing IPL, leading the run scorers tally with 222 and 221 runs respectively that includes one century and a fifty each. And Bond very well understands the importance of stopping the duo on Thursday, insisting that early wickets would be key to success for the title holders.
“KL Rahul has got runs against us in the last few games and he is a brilliant player. We are having our bowlers’ meeting this afternoon, in terms of our planning for our opponents who are playing well. KL is a dynamic player, who scores all around the field,” the former Kiwi pacer said.
“We also know that he (Rahul) takes his time generally through the middle overs, so that’s perhaps an opportunity to create some pressure on him and the batsmen around him. We will have specific ideas about how we can get him out. In the end, we can’t allow him (Rahul) to score in the areas he is very, very strong. He scores well over extra-cover, picks up over fine-leg.”
Bond stressed that MI has the potential in its bowling unit to restrict the marauding Kings XI’s batting department.
“We have got a quality bowling unit, we just have to put pressure on them. Mind you, the two key batters for Kings XI Punjab played brilliantly so far. If we can create some pressure and get those boys out early, and put some little bit more pressure on that middle-order early, we can restrict them to a score, stop them from scoring (big) runs,” he said.
Bond said having already played two out of their three matches here so far, MI are well-versed with the conditions of the ground.
“We are reasonably confident with our batting line-up. They have put up good runs on the board so far and we are a tough batting order to stop. We have played on this ground twice and so we sort of know what to expect with the conditions, so that should help us a bit,” he said.
He also said that Tuesday’s match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals has indicated that the wickets might slow down as the tournament moves on, but the bowlers need to be accurate with their line and lengths.