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Shirin Sadikot in Delhi

Our batsmen can handle Narine: Wright

MI coach puts faith on spin-adept batting line-up ahead of semi-final against T&T

With a loss and a washed out match, the Mumbai Indians looked all but set to bow out of the 2013 CLT20 after the Group stage. However, an inspired batting performance from skipper Rohit Sharma (51* off 24) in their last Group game, against the Perth Scorchers, gave the IPL champions the big win they needed to sneak into the top four.

Now as they gear up for their semi-final against Trinidad & Tobago in Delhi, MI coach John Wright said that the camp is brimming with excitement for the big game.

“We were really pleased with our performance in the last match given we were under a lot of pressure. I thought the batting effort was outstanding. A lot of people didn’t expect us to get to the semi-final. But we’re here and we’re just excited to play the big game,” Wright told the media ahead of the second semi-final.

The former New Zealand captain said that the experience of playing high-octane matches in the IPL will bode well for MI in the business end of the competition.

“This is a big game and there will be a lot of pressure on the players. It’s good for us that we’ve played in such pressure before, in the last IPL and that experience will come in handy in this tournament. The guys are used to playing crunch matches and the last match was definitely one of them. I don’t think a lot of people gave us a shot at knocking off those runs in 14 overs and qualify for the semis,” Wright said.

The former India coach was all praises for MI’s new and young captain Rohit Sharma, who has led the team from the front ever since he was handed over the reins.

“Rohit has fitted in very quickly and very well. He has not only led by example with the bat, but has also been tactically very good. We’re thrilled to have a Mumbai lad leading our team as that’s great for our franchise and our city.”

While there are concerns over another Mumbai lad’s poor form, Wright insisted Sachin Tendulkar is “fine” and striking the ball well. “He’s fine. He’s been in really good touch in the nets and is hitting the ball beautifully. His experience is important, especially on a slow and low track like this one.”

As the talk veered from MI’s batting to T&T’s bowling, Wright said that the team is not overly worried about the threat Sunil Narine poses.
“We just have a very good batting line-up. We outplayed KKR (Narine’s IPL team) twice in the 2013 IPL and I was pleased with the way our batsmen handled Narine. We’ll be up against him again and we do respect him. But we have some excellent players of spin bowling in our side. So, we’re not thinking about any special plans against him; we’ll play our game,” Wright said.

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