Harbhajan pleased to have Pollard for semis
The best news emanating from Mumbai Indians on the eve of their Champions League T20 semi final clash against Somerset here today was that all-rounder Kieron Pollard would be fit to play. Skipper Harbhajan Singh, sounding buoyant said here yesterday at a media conference: "He is fit and he will play tomorrow, unless he does that to him again!" Pollard was injured while training on Thursday.
Looking ahead to the semi-final game, Harbhajan sounded rather philosophical saying he would be at peace with whatever the result may be, but wanted his players to put their best foot forward. "Of we do what we can do, we will be a difficult side to beat in this competition. Just go out, give it your best shot and enjoy the game.
"Result will only matter if you think too much about it. If you're looking to enjoy the game, you give it everything. I will make sure we will give it our best shot on the field and whatever result we get, we will be happy with it," he said.
Arms wide open: Pollard hits a six against Cape Cobras. Pic/AFP
Harbhajan admitted the Mumbai batting had not quite clicked in the competition and more often than not struggled, but in T20 format, form was not the influential factor. "The kind of batting line up we are, we have not performed to our expectations so far, apart from one game in Bangalore (against Cape Cobras) where we played brilliantly and got the runs on the board," he said. "Twenty20 is a kind of format in which you don't need to be in the best of form to score runs or take wickets. I only believe that. As a matter of fact, five balls if you connect with the bat, that could be your day and if you are a bowler, if you take a wicket with your second ball, you become a different bowler in this competition," he opined.
Just four foreigners
Mumbai Indians have been allowed to include Surya Kumar Yadav who was in the original squad, but was subsequently dropped due to injury. He has since recovered fully and the technical committee of the tournament has allowed his re-inclusion while revoking the permission to include a fifth foreign player in the playing eleven. The skipper thanked the committee for the decision, but said he would have to take a "tough call" in omitting one of the five foreign players.
Meanwhile, Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas negated the theory that the Mumbai Indians would enjoy an advantage since having played two of their four Group A games at Chepauk. "It's going to be a bit of a challenge, but during qualification, we played Auckland straight after coming from England. The pitch looks a bit slow, but we have spin options. At the end of the day, it's 11 and 11," he said.
Somerset, like their opponents, are without some key players who are on international duty, but Thomas opted to see the situation as a challenge rather than difficulty. The skipper asserted that his player had no qualms facing the likes of Harbhajan and yorker-specialist Lasith Malinga although Somerset batsmen are a tad short on experience. "I don't think it is any different from facing Brett Lee or Dirk Nannes. As long as you keep your eye on the ball, play the ball and not the man, you should be ok," he said.