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Prajakta Pawar in Ahmedabad

We are not underdogs: ten Doeschate

Volts all-rounder weighs in his team’s chances against fancied Mumbai Indians

The Otago Volts are hoping to extend their 13-match winning streak when they take on the Mumbai Indians at the Sardar Patel Stadium on Monday evening. The Brendon McCullum-led side qualified for the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 with flying colours and is keen to take on MI, who come into the game on the back of a loss.

While addressing the media ahead of the match, Ryan ten Doeschate and Hamish Rutherford expressed the confidence that the team has gained from their winning streak and their keenness to continue the good run.

Speaking about their unbeaten streak leading up to the group stage of the tournament, Rutherford told the media, “(It feels) very good to have done so well and qualified. Not to win one or two but to win all three games in the qualifiers is pretty special.”

“We have won ten games in a row in the domestic competition to get here and win the three qualifying games as well is great. The four teams in our pool are going to be exceptionally tough games, but we don’t feel like we are underdogs; we feel that we are good enough to match these teams. Whether that means winning or not is a totally different story. But the confidence from the three qualifying games and the belief that the team has got from stringing so many wins together has made a difference,” ten Doeschate added.

Speaking about their next opponents, the Mumbai Indians, he observed, “They are a very good side with four quality overseas players, but across the board with their local players I think I feel they have got the strongest set of Indian players. So tomorrow is going to be a tough first game for us, but we have got match winners too. And in Twenty20 you need two or three players to come up on the day. Across the board they are probably the stronger team, but we are looking forward to tomorrow and believe we have a chance to beat them.”

“I think Mumbai Indians will be under a lot of pressure. If they lose their first two games, it is going to be tough for them to make it through the Groups, so they will be under a lot of pressure. Hopefully that plays into our hands a bit. But for us there is a subconscious confidence from winning and knowing how to win and trust in the system,” the all-rounder said.

Speaking about their preparations and tackling the two world-class spinners, Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha, Rutherford told the media, “We are not overly worried about it. We respect what they have done. They have got a left-hander and a right-hander, so they have got options. At the moment we aren’t particularly worried about any particular player.”

The Volts captain Brendon McCullum and Nathan McCullum are experienced campaigners and their inputs too would help the team as the tournament progresses. Stating their importance to the Volts, the left-hand batsman said, “Both those guys have played a lot of cricket here. Everyone is trying to get as much as they can, especially at training. It helps to plan for the different conditions, which they faced down here.”

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