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Jaipur conditions will suit us: Rohit Sharma

Mumbai Indians skipper says his team is raring to take on Highveld Lions in Pink City

Placed third in Group A in Champions League Twenty20 2013, the IPL 2013 champions Mumbai Indians are keen to take the field after rain played spoilsport in their second match of the tournament. And having lost their first game, the Rohit Sharma-led team needs to beat the Highveld Lions on Friday evening to stay in contention for a semi-finals spot.

Speaking to the media ahead of the match, Rohit Sharma said, “Every match is important in this tournament because you get only four games. And we have lost one of those with another washed out. The two games ahead of us are very important now, and we know we have to win both.”

“But we shouldn’t take the pressure of having to win. We just need to play our game and if we do that, we will have a good chance of winning, because we have the players for it. In the last game that we played here, I don’t think we put up a bad performance. Maybe we could have scored 10-15 runs more, and if we had done that, the result might have been different,” he added. 

Talking about the long gap they have had, Sharma said, “It is disappointing that we didn’t get to go on the field for three or four days, but you can’t do much about it. That’s not in our hands. But it’s good that we at least came down to Jaipur and got some good practice today. We are raring to go tomorrow. You cannot do much about the weather conditions and stuff like that.”

After arriving in Jaipur on Wednesday, the Mumbai Indians hit the nets on a sunny Thursday morning after spending a few days in rain-ridden Ahmedabad. Taking into account their previous experience in Jaipur and the Lions’ bowling attack, the batsmen had a session with tennis ball to prepare for the bounce and pace. And when asked if they consider the Lions’ pace attack as a threat, Sharma said, “No, I don’t think so. I was watching the game yesterday and Rajasthan Royals scored 180-plus. It’s a good batting wicket, so we don’t need to think what the opposition is like. We need to focus on our camp and what we need to do as a team. There is a lot at stake. We would rather take out time to think about what we need to do than think about what the opposition has got. We have played them quite a few times now, so we know their strengths and weaknesses. It will be important to focus on what we need to do.”

Discussing the Sawai Mansingh wicket and the Lions, who are used to playing on such tracks, Sharma pointed out that his team is also used to playing in similar conditions. “In Mumbai you get nice and hard wickets. There is a lot of bounce there also. These conditions will be more suitable for us than them because we’re playing in India, not South Africa. We know the conditions better than them. But again, at the end of the day, you have to play good, smart cricket to win,” he mentioned. 

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