Mumbai: Mumbai Indians mentor Shaun Pollock expressed confidence on Thursday that his team will not become complacent after having won their first two matches in the Indian Premier League.
Mumbai defeated Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last two outings and will face struggling debutantes Kochi Tuskers Kerela in their first home match in Mumbai on Friday and Pollock said his boys are focused on the match.
"We have played well in two games and won well. We go with confidence (against Kochi Tuskers Kerala) from the way we played but we don't, for one moment, go complacent. We are focused on tomorrow's (Friday) game, our first game in Mumbai and we are looking forward to it," said the former South African captain ahead of the tie at the Wankhede Stadium.
"We have a balanced outfit. We have got batting depth we have got bowling options. In t20 cricket those are important things to have. We are happy with the way we are going. The local Indian boys have performed well. Rayudu's performance (unbeaten half ton) in Bangalore was very good that's what we want from our young talent. We want to develop it," he added. Mumbai Indians focused hard during their net session on Thursday to give opportunity to those players who have not had much to do in the tournament so far, said Pollock.
"Today we were focused on guys who haven't had much part to play. (Kieron) Pollard has not batted, (James) Franklin has not batted, (R) Satish has not batted. We wanted to give them an extended net practice for them to get a feel of the ground in particular because you never know when you will require them to produce a big performance. We want to make sure all our players are prepared for the game," he said.
Pollock hinted there could be some changes, even Australian Andrew Symonds, coming in for Friday's game as he said the think-tank believed in having horses for the courses. "We do have options. We are always considering which team (eleven) is best for teams we come against, like horses for courses. And conditions will dictate what eleven we are choosing.
"I think all the squad in good touch. Guys who have not played have been practicing hard. If we do make changes we feel they can do the job," he said.
"He (Symonds) was batting nicely in the nets and we gave him extended nets. We will discuss him, there's a chance (of him playing)," he pointed out.
Pollock said it was pointless to worry now about how to replace key Lankan players like Lasith Malinga when he's called up for national duty in the first week of May as per the reports from the Emerald Island.
"We will take it as it comes. They (the Indian and Lankan Boards) are still in discussions. We don't know for sure what the exact result will be. In many ways it's not worth worrying about for now. Once we know exactly what will happen we can come up with a contingency plan," he said.
The Proteas great said that MI was fortunate in having Malinga in their ranks with his unique action and unplayable Yorkers.
"He's very professional. (His) action, I can't comment on or coach too much. From my side it's all about keeping him confident and giving him options to transport weaknesses of different batsmen and make things easier for him.
"At this stage of his career he knows about his action and what he wants to do with it. With that action of his it (yorker) is a hell of an effective delivery and we are very fortunate to have him in our team," he remarked. Pollock could not say whether the old buzz was missing from IPL, but said as per his knowledge the next three home games of MI are sold out.
"I wasn't here for (season) 3, 2 was in South Africa. It's hard to guage (the buzz). If you go by ticket sales they are all sold out for the next three games here. We haven't played in front of our home crowd yet, we are looking forward to tomorrow's (Friday) game.
"Mumbai fans have always been very passionate about their cricket. The fact that Sachin (Tendulkar) is in the team obviously plays a part; he's got lot of support in every game wherever he plays, Delhi or Bangalore. There's lot of people shouting for Sachin.
"Mumbai is a proud cricketing province and we have discussed how many trophies they have won. That's why we get such support. Also by the way they have played so far," he said.