Mohali: Rajasthan Royals pacer Vikramjeet Singh Malik today said that his side were not facing any pressure in the scramble for a play-off berth in the IPL and their strategy has been to take it from match-by-match.
"There is no pressure, we take it from match-to-match. We focus on a particular match. Winning is important and we will approach tomorrow`s match (against Kings XI Punjab) with that mindset," 31-year-old Malik said at the pre-match press conference.
Asked what will be their strategy when they take on table-toppers Punjab tomorrow, Malik said, "In this format it all depends on your day. As far as we are concerned, we go by the opposition, ground and pitch conditions and plan accordingly."
As the scramble for the top four positions gets fierce, Rajasthan need to win one of their their remaining two games to qualify for the play-off stage.
Malik said that Ajinkya Rahane and Praveen Tambe would return to the side.
Asked about the Mohali pitch, he said, "Wednesday also, it would have been high scoring game (if Kings XI Punjab who set the target had not suffered a middle order collapse). We saw that Mumbai Indians chased the target (157) easily. We had a look at the wicket today, it has some grass, it is dry, it will be a good wicket to bat on."
Malik, who has played a lot here, said generally the team which chases has won most of the times.
Teams needing 15 runs to win in final over have managed to scrape through in the IPL and asked if it indicated that batting standards have gone up, Malik said there were numerous reasons for that
"Earlier, the wickets used to be either slow or pacy. On slow wickets, the bowlers used to get reverse swing. These days, the wickets are good and in 20 overs the ball does not reverse swing easily," said Vikramjeet.
"In the shorter version, generally a team has four or five wickets left in the last few overs and a batsman takes full chance and all the pressure is on the bowler. These days batsmen have evolved advanced techniques, reverse sweep, yorkers are hit for reverse sweep, reverse lap or hit over fine leg.
"Batsmen like M S Dhoni hit even the yorker delivery for a six using his trademark helicopter shot," he pointed out.
Vikramjeet also pointed out that the bats used by players these days come with a lot of wood helping the batsmen clear the boundaries easily.
"Earlier bats used to be light, now they come with heavy wood and hitting sixes has become easy as boundaries have also become shorter," he said.
To another question, Malik said that batsmen these days adapt better, shifting gears when they want.
"These days you have coaches to help, there are coaches who keep tab on your feet movement, body movement etc."