Mumbai can conquer Chennai again

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma doesn’t want his team to get distracted by the spot fixing controversy and says the focus is on playing good cricket against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier here today.

Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians players celebrate the wicket of Murali Vijay during their match against CSK at Wankhede recently (inset) Rohit Sharma

“We don’t want to think too much about it (spot fixing). We are all professional cricketers and we have an important task at hand. So we don’t want to get distracted,” said Rohit before a training session at the Feroz Shah Kotla here yesterday.

The Mumbai Indian captain feels two wins in the league stage against Super Kings will stand in good stead for his side. “I am not doubting them, but they are a very good side. We have been playing consistently and we have beaten them twice in the league stage. If we stick to our plans we can beat them again,” he said.

Asked about Mumbai Indians poor away record this season, Rohit said: “I don’t believe in home and away advantage. Even Chennai Super Kings don’t have a good away record. It is all about playing good cricket.”

Rohit was also all praise for spinner Harbhajan Singh and pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson. “I think Harbhajan and Johnson are among the top-10 in IPL. Johnson has been giving us the initial breakthroughs. Bhajji has been fantastic as well. We are looking forward to Bhajji to deliver with both bat and ball,” he said.

Tendulkar doubtful
Rohit also said that they haven’t taken any decision on Sachin Tendulkar, who is nursing an injury on his left palm. Tendulkar didn’t bat at the nets here and only bowled for a while.  “We are yet to take a call. We will decide on the morning of the match,” he said.

Rohit’s wishlist
> Tendulkar is fit to play
> Kieron Pollard plays a cameo
> Mitchell Johnson repeats his stunning show against CSK
> Pragyan Ojha bowls miserly
> Team maintain its superior head-to-head record

Dhoni’s wishlist
> He gets a quickfire 50
> Michael Hussey carries his form into the playoffs
> Ravindra Jadeja contributes with bat and ball
> Team breaks the MI jinx
> CSK enter their 5th final 

Live on TV: CSK vs MI on Set Max and Sony Six, 8pm

When they last met...

MI reduced CSK to season’s lowest total
May 5, this season, was one of those rare outings for Chennai Super Kings when they seemed completely lost in the woods. Wankhede pitch suited the bowlers and Mumbai Indians limped to 139 for five, largely due to some late strikes by Rohit Sharma (39 not out). In reply, the visitors suffered a massive jolt in the third over as Mitchell Johnson reduced them from nine for no loss to nine for three. CSK were bowled out for mere 79.

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