Indians thinking one game at a time
The Mumbai Indians are high on confidence after four consecutive victories, but captain Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said they were concentrating on Friday's game against Kolkata Knight Riders and not thinking much of sealing a semifinal berth in the IPL.
"We are not looking very far ahead at present and concentrating on tomorrow's game. That is how we have played the last five to six games where we took one step at a time," the master batsman told reporters here.
Mumbai, who are still in the bottom half of the Indian Premier League with eight points, will be looking to strengthen their position in the team standings with a win over Kolkata Knight Riders, who are on 10 points.
The Mumbai battting lineup will also be challenged by the bolstering of the Kolkata bowling with the arrival of Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who produced a match-winning spell in their last game in Delhi.
However, Tendulkar said Mumbai's batting lineup was capable of taking on the bowling attack of Akhtar and Ishant Sharma.
"Shoaib Akhtar and Ishant Sharma are both quality bowlers but our batsmen are no less. It does not mean that it will be easy, we will have to go out and play our best."
Asked if he felt the biggest contest would be between him and Akhtar, Tendulkar said he never had any contests with one individual of a team.
"It is between 11 players of Kolkata against the players from the Mumbai team," he said.
His team also had a plan to take on Kolkata captain Sourav Ganguly who had found form in the last two outings, Tendulkar said.
"Sourav is an experienced campaigner and it is not going to be easy against him. The match will be close since both teams are doing well and should be a treat for spectators," Tendulkar said.
The Mumbai captain praised his teammate Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya for his match-winning century against Chennai on Wednesday, saying it was a treat to watch.
"On Wednesday, I felt good that I was in the same side as him (Jayasuriya)," Tendulkar, who was at the non-striker's end for most of the Sri Lankan's innings, said.
"We got a treat and got to see the batting that Jayasuriya is capable of. He played some great shots," he said.
Tendulkar, who made his IPL debut in Wednesday's match after recovering from a groin injury, said he had enjoyed his outing in the field.
Playing in Mumbai was special and having the crowd behind the team was a great experience, the batting maestro said.