Mumbai:Chennai Super Kings middle order batsman Subramaniam Badrinath on Saturday said his team has a slight edge over Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians in Sunday's IPL final because of their previous experience in the summit clash of the T20 League.
"We may have a slight edge only because Mumbai have not been in the final before. We have been there. We have been in the situation before. Having said that we need to play good cricket tomorrow," said Badrinath on the eve of the summit clash here on Sunday.
Chennai Super Kings had lost to Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural edition final in 2008 at the same D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Badrinath was confident that his team would be able to withstand the full-throated support of the crowd who would be rooting for the home side.
"I think it's a big day, the final and we are all focused. It's their home town and obviously they will have crowd support as well. We are prepared for it, will take it in our stride and will try and play some good cricket," he said.
Badrinath said Mumbai were a good side but backed his own team as they too had played some good cricket to reach the summit clash.
"They are a good strong side. It shows from the way they have played. Their combination has been working we have been playing some good cricket as well. No reason why we should not fancy our chances," he said.
Asked about the likely absence of Mumbai captain Sachin Tendulkar, Badrinath said though every team would be happy not to confront the master batsman's skills pitted against them on a cricket field, he would be pleased to be on the same field with the great player.
"Obviously he's Sachin Tendulkar and if he's in the opposition and not playing. Any opposition would be happy about it. Personally I would relish playing Sachin and would look forward to it," he said.
The Chennai batsman also wished Tendulkar well on his 37th birthday and said the champion batsman had been his idol since his younger days.
"I wish him many more happy returns and hope he plays as long as possible for India. He's been my idol from my younger days. I'm grateful to have rubbed shoulders with him in the dressing room," he said.
Charting out his team's progress into the final, Badrinath said there had been ups and downs and now it all boils down to the performance of the team on the last day of the 45-day event.
"It's been up and down in the league phase for us. We have been really up at times and we had some lows as well. All teams evenly matched we have made it to the final. Obviously we have played some good cricket get here. It all comes to one day and hopefully we will take it through tomorrow," he said.
Asked about Mathew Hayden's indifferent form, Badrinath pointed out that even when the top guns failed to boom, Chennai Super Kings had set good targets or chased tough ones.
"You can't expect all the eleven to fire in every game. We are making up for x or y not firing, that's the plus. Even when Hayden's not firing and Albie Morkel is not firing we are still ending up with big scores and have been chasing 180-190. Imagine what will happen when these guys could fire. We are going to be a good side and on their day these guys can swing matches on their own," he said.
Asked about any particular plan for MI's big-hitting Kieron Pollard, Badrinath said his team's think tank has charted out a strategy for all opposition players and hoped they would work.
"He (Pollard) is a good player we have some plans for every batsman we would be discussing about what to do to whom. And come up with some good plans. Hopefully it will come good," he said.
Badrinath said all the teams have improved in how to play in a Twenty20 game as compared to what they did two years ago.
"We are more experienced in the format as compared to the first year. Every player has played more Twenty20 matches after IPL I. We have more experience in this format. Everyone knows each other's game. We know our own game better. Lots of strategy and thinking going on these days because of the experience," he said.