T20 2018 Preview: We want to be fearless, says Mumbai's Aditya Tare
With a playoff spot in mind, Mumbai's back-up 'keeper Aditya Tare says teammates are very positive about a change in fortunes for their last league home game against Punjab at Wankhede today
Mumbai's players celebrate the wicket of Rajasthan's D'Arcy Short at Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. Pic/Atul Kamble
In the 2014 season of the T20, Mumbai turned around their fortunes dramatically after arriving at the Wankhede Stadium despite losing all their five matches in the first leg that took place in the UAE. Since then, the iconic venue has become their fortress.
This year, though, the fortress has been breached since Mumbai have won only two of their six home games so far. The defending champions' chances of qualifying for the playoffs will depend heavily on today's result against Punjab and the hosts will hope for a favourable outcome in their last league game at home. For Punjab too, it's a virtual do-or-die situation.
Mumbai's physio Nitin Patel attends to Evin Lewis as coach Jayawardene (centre) looks on at Wankhede yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Poor at home
A poor home run is one of the reasons Mumbai find themselves in a dire situation again. "The major thing is that we haven't been up to the mark at the Wankhede. This franchise has always been very tough at the Wankhede, but unfortunately, we haven't been as strong at home this year. As far as the team is concerned, it is quite clear — win two and you are there," said Mumbai's back-up wicketkeeper Aditya Tare, who leads Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy.
"It is an important stage for us. We know that if we win two games, we will make it [to the play-offs]. We have been in this situation before. We are just positive and want to be fearless," he added.
Apart from the three last-over defeats at the start of their campaign, Mumbai's inconsistent display with the bat or ball has also hurt their prospects. They have lacked decent partnerships in the middle, an aspect which came to the fore in their last match at Wankhede where they could post only 168-6 despite an 86-run opening stand against Rajasthan.
Tare felt it is the combination of the batting and bowling that has let the team down. "You just can't blame the batters, it has been a tournament where we haven't sort of clicked together as a team and when we have, we have won games. The games we have lost, sometimes we could have defended those totals. When you lose, it's important that you share that responsibility of the loss as equally as you share the responsibility of a win," he said.
From Neymar's antics to Croatian courage: FIFA WC 2018 Highlights