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Batting with Sachin makes me confident: Smith

MI batsman enjoys opening role; says it’s more challenging

The Mumbai Indians’ misery in CLT20 2012 continued even during their last match as they got beaten by a clinical Sydney Sixers outfit. Chasing a modest 136, the team looked in control for a major part of their innings, before letting the momentum go and succumbing to a 12-run defeat.

Coming into CLT20 as the defending champions, MI will now leave South Africa without a single win under their belt. While talking to clt20.com after the loss, MI’s opening batsman Dwayne Smith put the team’s listless performance on not being able to click as a unit. Smith also spoke about his experience of opening the batting with Sachin Tendulkar and how it has made him a better batsman.

Excerpts from his interview:

Can you put your finger on the one thing that went wrong for the Mumbai Indians in this tournament?

I just think we didn’t play as a team. The batting or bowling didn’t come together. We know where we went wrong. We will all go back to the drawing board and learn from our mistakes.

How have you been enjoying the role of an opening batsman?

From the time I started opening, I’ve enjoyed this role and I still am enjoying it. As an opener you get the better part of the game. It’s challenging as sometimes you have to build the innings, while at times you have to go after the bowling. The first six overs are the opportunity for me to play to my strength and attack the ball. It’s good for me and I like it.

How much have you had to change your game to become an opener from a finisher?

It takes a lot more patience to open the batting. As a finisher you know you have to get going from the start. I think I’m capable of performing both roles equally well.

And at MI you open the batting with Sachin Tendulkar

From the time I was young, I’ve always admired him as a batsman and to open the batting with him is a big achievement for me. I feel a lot more confident when I’m batting with him. He keeps chatting to me while batting. Especially if I play a bad shot, he comes up to me and tells me it wasn’t the right shot to play and explains me how to go about the game.

Have you picked up anything from him technically?

Yes, he has been talking to me in the nets as well. I had a little glitch coming from the World Twenty20. Sachin and coach Robin Singh have been of great help to me in sorting it out. It was a small technical issue but I have sorted it out now and I don’t have any problems anymore. I just want to move on from it. 

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