Mumbai Indians’ team director TA Sekar is confident that the franchise, which did not do too well in the last two editions of the Indian Premier League, would turn in an impressive display this season riding on skipper Sachin Tendulkar’s good form.
“This year we have a very good side and have worked hard in the run-up to the tournament. We have had two camps in Jamnagar and Baroda prior to our current one here,” he said.
Skipper Sachin Tendulkar’s superb form with the bat in the lead-up to the event, starting March 12, boded well for the team’s fortunes, according to Sekar.
“Sachin is in tremendous form and is in great touch which is a very good sign for us. It’s a lesson to be learned by the youngsters in the team how he manages himself. They will be better cricketers if they can imbibe even one per cent of what he does. He’s a rare breed. Such cricketers come only once in a century,” he said.
Sekar felt the key to any IPL team’s success is how the seven Indians in the playing eleven do and in this he has a lot of players to choose from, including ICL returnees like R Satish and Abu Nacheem.
“The 7-8 Indians will play a big role in the success of a team in IPL,” he said.
Mumbai Indians start their campaign with a home match against 2008 champions Rajasthan Royals at the Brabourne Stadium on March 13.
Sekar said two foreign players, Ryan McLaren of South Africa and Graham Napier of England, are already here and are going through the drills while all-rounders Kieren Pollard and Dwayne Bravo would arrive after fulfilling their commitments for the West Indies.
He was particularly excited about Pollard, bought by Mumbai Indians at this year’s auction for $750,000, as he is doing well with the ball too in the ODIs against Zimbabwe.
“He has shown he can hit big and can also plan his innings by coming higher up the order. He’s started bowling well too and is completing his quota of overs in the ODIs.
“Pollard brings all round skills to the table along with Bravo, (Jean Paul) Duminy (South Africa) and (Sri Lankan) Sanath (Jayasuriya),” said the 53-year-old former bowler.
The former pacer, who was involved with the Delhi Daredevils franchise in the first two seasons, did not sound too concerned over the lack of form of Duminy when he visited the country with the South African squad.
“It’s a phase every player goes through. He’s a fine player and had done well in Australia, in South Africa and in the Champions League (held in India last year). T20 is a different ball game with there being no slip or short leg. The wickets are also batsmen-friendly,” he said.
Sekar was also full of praise for the team owners, Mukesh and Nita Ambani, for the support they extended to all the team members and the interest they showed about small details.