Steve Smith and Rohit Sharma sought to play down Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians’ head-to-head record, where the enviable mingles with the undesirable, on the eve of the title clash of IPL-10.
Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant have beaten Mumbai Indians, led by Sharma, in the previous three meetings, including Qualifier 1, and they can take confidence from their admirable record.
The Australian captain, though, was cautions in his comments at the pre-match press conference.
“Obviously, we can take a little bit of confidence from that. In the end, finals cricket is finals cricket and it comes down to that game and who plays best on that day,” Smith said.
He appreciated young players Rahul Tripathi and Washington Sundar, who came up with impressive performances in the tournament.
Mumbai Indians would look to put the past behind and put their best foot forward in the summit showdown, Sharma assured.
“Like Mahela said, we have not had great history against Pune. They have been playing some really good cricket throughout the tournament. It’s just that we were not good on those days. That s probably the reasons we lost the game,” Mumbai’s inspirational captain Sharma said.
Sri Lankan batting great Mahela Jayawardene is Mumbai Indians’ coach.
The India batsman added, “Tomorrow, we got to make sure that we better and we play good cricket and focus on what we need to do as a team.
“If all those things have been looked after, results will take care of itself. You need to concentrate on the process rather than thinking too far ahead.”
Sharma is not worried that some of the key players could not live upto the billing consistently.
“We certainly did not have any individual brilliance throughout the tournament. Guys have come at different points and taken up the responsibility. (It) goes to show that team work is so much important whether it’s bowling or your batting,” he said.
Alongside the two captains, coaches Jayawardene and Stephen Fleming were also present.
Fleming said Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been one of the most successful players in world cricket and whose contribution as a senior player helped the Pune team in a big way during the current season.
The IPL T20 trophy was also displayed on the occasion.