Our plans against Gayle and Kohli paid off: Franklin

Mumbai Indians all-rounder James Franklin feels the game plan against RCB’s opening pair worked well which proved to be a pivotal point in the match AFP

By CricketCountry Staff

Chennai: Oct 10, 2011

Mumbai Indians all-rounder James Franklin feels their game plan against Royal Challengers Bangalore’s devastating opening pair of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chris Gayle paid off which proved to be beneficial in winning the Champions League final.

Franklin said,” Obviously they were coming into this game after scoring lots of runs in the last couple of games in Bengaluru. But it was a totally different wicket here and we knew if we just stuck to our plans, things would pay off. And they did.”

The lanky all-rounder feels having played few matches in Chennai gave them a distinct advantage ahead of RCB. “Yes. We’ve played at both venues [Bengaluru and Chennai] and both have different pitch conditions. We knew that if we had good enough runs on the board, they’d struggle. We were probably 20 runs lighter to be honest, but [playing in the] final is a pressure situation and we just stuck to it and the pressure got them. And we ended up winning,” said Franklin.

Franklin believes absence of seniors in the tournament gave the youngsters in the team an opportunity to prove their mettle. He said,” It’s been a fantastic experience. This is my first time in the Nokia Champions League [Twenty20] and it is a great tournament. We were up against it right from the start with a lot of our senior players injured and our squad was fairly depleted through other injuries as well.”

He added,”That gave an opportunity to some of the young guys who were part of the bigger squad who had been with us in the IPL. We’ve just taken it game by game and we’ve shown great character to be able to get through to the Play-Offs and then to back up a win in the semi-final last night with a win here tonight is great.”

Franklin credited team s never-say-die attitude and Harbhajan Singh s captaincy for team s successful campaign. He said,” We just wanted to leave everything out on the field. No matter what sort of start how they got off to, we knew they have dynamic batsmen at the top and we had to strike early. We didn’t do that, but we stuck with it and in the end we showed every ball counted. We fought for every ball, and to bowl them out is just fantastic.”

“[Harbhajan is] fantastic. The way he bowled tonight… he led from the front. He was just outstanding [I have] no words to describe… awesome.” Franklin concluded.