Four titles – the most in the history of IPL. One of the best batsmen in limited overs cricket – Rohit Sharma – as captain, two pacers – Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult – who can send chills down the spines of any batting order and three all-rounders – Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya with the ability to single-handedly change the course of a T20 game, Mumbai Indians are one of the top sides of the shortest format for a reason. Therefore, it’s not a surprise when their bowling coach Shane Bond says no team wants to face MI ahead of the IPL 2020 qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals.
“I think we are the team that nobody really wants to play, because they know if we play well, we can do some damage,” Bond said on the eve of the big match.
MI were the first team to secure qualification and also the first ones to ensure a top two finish this year on the back of some stunning all-round performances.
“We have got a whole lot of players, who have experienced winning the tournament. They know how to win with one tight game, so we go in with that weight behind us and that makes a huge difference..,” the former Kiwi pacer added.
He said that the team has a set of players who knows how to play in key matches and that could be an advantage for the four-time champions against Delhi Capitals.
“You have got Pollards, the Rohits, Pandya brothers now, Suryakumar… guys who know how to win, they know the intensity of the finals, pressures of the finals, they have played well and have had success in those finals.
“So if you take that into the final (play-offs) against the team which hadn’t had success and are nervous, then it goes in your advantage,” he said.
“We are a team that knows how to win, we have got some big players in our team, we still have to play bloody well, because we play whoever has earned their spots and are outstanding teams. “There is confidence in this group that we know how to get the job done.” Mumbai Indians had rested key pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult in the game against SRH, which they lost by 10 wickets, but Bond defended the decision saying that was done with a long-term view.
“Trent and Jasprit have been outstanding in the way they have played.
“We knew not only with back to back fixtures, but also from travel back and forth from Dubai to Sharjah, that it was an opportunity for us to give those guys a break and freshen up, knowing that we have got at-least two games coming up, and possibly three.
“You will hopefully get the benefits of giving those guys rest a week down the track and both boys enjoyed the rest. “We have a bowling squad, particularly the fast bowlers, who are all ready to play, so we pick up an injury, we know everybody has hit the game time as well, which puts us in a really good position.” According to Bond, their top-order is in full-flow.
“You don’t want to see the tail batting, if they are not batting, your top-order is scoring runs and we know when our top-order is scoring runs, we are scoring big runs,” he said.
“The bonus from batting point of view is Kieron Pollard got to face 20 balls and whacked it, so that puts him in great shape for the finals because he hasn’t hit too much batting, in terms of that it has worked out pretty good,” the bowling coach.
(With PTI inputs)