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Shane Warne wary of Mumbai Indians

The Rajasthan Royals are on a roll after five straight wins. They are, however, not taking the Mumbai Indians lightly in their IPL clash on Wednesday, despite the likely absence of Sachin Tendulkar, said coach-cum-captain Shane Warne.

“We are on a roll after five wins. But anything can happen in the second half of the tournament. Mumbai Indians have some dangerous players and we are wary of them,” he said.

Warne, though feeling for his injured friend Tendulkar, said he was also happy that he would not have to bowl to the master batsman in the Twenty20 format and have nightmares again.

“It’s unfortunate Sachin is injured. Any team minus Sachin is weaker. He’s my good friend and the best batsman I have seen in my 20 years of first class cricket. But I won’t miss playing against him,” said Warne.

Warne did not agree that his team were the underdogs as was projected before the commencement of the IPL.

“We never considered ourselves as underdogs. We have a well-balanced squad. Our young guys have gelled well with the older ones,” he said.

Warne is already looking ahead to his team making it to the semis and felt that eight wins would be enough to achieve the aim. “Probably with eight wins, a team can be in the semis. We are in a pretty good shape,” he said.

He praised the team’s left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir and hoped the Pakistan bowler would be able to topple Mumbai Indians top-order lynchpin Sanath Jayasuriya cheaply.

“He can swing the ball, bowl an effective slower ball and is very good against left handers. If he can get rid off Jayasuriya it would be very good for us,” said Warne.

Meanwhile the Mumbai Indians, who have won their last two matches after beginning poorly, have some tricks up their sleeves to stop the league leaders, the home team’s stand-in captain Shaun Pollock said on Tuesday.

“We have got a bit of a momentum and confidence after our last two games. Rajasthan Royals have won five games on the trot, but we have some plans. It’s a big ask, but if we play as we did in the last two games we can win,” the South African allrounder said.

Pollock said that Tendulkar is expected to be fit in time for their eighth IPL clash on May 14 against Chennai Super Kings.

“Sachin is unlikely to play unless he gets up in the morning and finds himself fit. After this game, we have six more days for our next match and he’s very likely to get fit by then,” he said.

“He's very much a part of everything we do off the field. Most decisions are taken with his consent outside the ground,” he explained.

Pollock stressed the importance of fielding in the shortest form of the game and said one run saved or one catch dropped can make a big difference.

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