Sachin is the key for winning the tournament
Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians can go all the way and capture the title and USD 2.5 million prize money in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 event that gets underway in South Africa on September 10, coach Robin Singh said on Friday.
We at Zeecric Bureau bring you the excerpts.
“We have the team to win the tournament. We are going with a positive intent. Everyone is excited. We played exceedingly well in IPL-III and are looking ahead now to win the Champions League,” said the former India all rounder in a teleconference.
MI lost to Chennai Super Kings in the IPL-III final on April 25 at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Singh said key India players Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have recovered completely from their injuries that forced the former to miss the entire Sri Lanka tour and the latter the second part of the tour.
“Both are fully fit and raring to go,” said the team’s Chennai-based coach.
West Indies-born Singh said the team has worked hard in the run-up to the tournament and would be doing more focused work when it reaches South Africa in a few days’ time.
“We had a preparatory camp in South Africa in end-July. We had another camp in Chennai. Everyone talks about the bounce on those wickets. We have to go there and see. We will do focused work-outs once we reach there on the 30th,” he said.
The team will practise in Durban for 5-6 days, Singh said.
Singh saw Tendulkar as pivotal to the team’s progress in the event.
“Tendulkar is always crucial whether playing for India or for us. He is a crucial part of our game. He’s already started practising for the tournament,” Singh said.
While Shikhar Dhawan would be opening the innings with Tendulkar, the team had other plans too, said Singh.
“Obviously we have other plans too which I cannot reveal,” he said.
The MI coach felt Jean Paul Duminy would also be crucial to the team’s fortunes with his knowkledge of the conditions in his home country.
“JP is a very important part of our team with his knowledge of the conditions,” he said.
Singh said West Indians Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, recovering from a hit on his eye while playing county cricket in England, were the ones with the most match practice under their belt.
“They were in England and have played a lot of cricket. They are joining the team after the 2nd (of September),” he said.
Singh said he had been in regular touch with Saurabh Tiwary who has been touring with the India A, Emerging India and is currently with the Indian team in Lanka where he has not got any opportunity to make the playing eleven.
“I am in regular touch with him. He’s a fabulous player and is very enthusiastic (about CLT20),” the MI coach said.