By CricketCountry Staff
Bengaluru: May 23, 2012
Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday said that he is yet to decide an opening partner for Sachin Tendulkar and his bowling attack for the crucial eliminator match against Chennai Super Kings.
“We have got Herschelle Gibbs who did well for us in Kolkata and now we have got Dwayne Smith who played a perfect innings in Rajasthan for us. We’ll discuss what the ideal combination would be for the day and the opposition.
“I have not decided on what team to go with. Last time Pragyan Ojha played a crucial role in us beating CSK, with his two wickets. In this format, it’s not about which wicket you play on. It’s more about playing with the batsman’s mind,” said Harbhajan.
Mumbai in their 16 league games have experimented with as many as 8 opening pairs and have never retained the same team in any of their consecutive matches in this season of Indian Premier League (IPL).
Harbhajan was positive of his team’s chances although he insisted that their clean sheet against the defending Champions this season won’t make much difference during the playoffs.
“Whatever games we have played so far are all gone and I don’t believe in thinking of what has happened in the past. If I have to see this game, I will see it as a fresh one. CSK have been the champions twice and they will come hard at us knowing that it’s a must-win game. We have plans for them, and hopefully, we can execute them on the day.
“They are a very confident bunch and they have the experience of playing these big games and winning them. That is probably their strength. They have players like MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel who have done well over the years for them,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by the official website of IPL
The off-spinner, known for his mercurial temperament, was entrusted with the captaincy of Mumbai Indians during last year’s Champions League T20. He admits the new role has helped him curb his aggressive instinct and be calm.
“From the last time I have become calmer and more composed; I don’t get angry when things don’t go in our favour. At the end of the day, I have to understand that in this format, the bowlers will go for runs and sometimes batsmen will get out. If you come across as a guy who gets really aggressive when things don’t go in your favour, it will not set the right tone for the rest of the 10 guys on the field,” he said.
Harbhajan also added saying, as a captain one needs to evaluate from a team’s perspective to read the game rather than look for individual performances as a result he doesn’t bowl much if the situation doesn’t suit him.
“For the team’s sake you have to take bold decisions of not bowling a bowler if he’s not required, be it Harbhajan, Muralitharan or Warne. It’s not that I don’t want to bowl – I always want to bowl as many overs that I can. But as a captain you have to stop thinking about yourself. I put my team ahead of single individuals and I feel that is very important to go forward,” concluded the Mumabai skipper.