Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Red Force has plan for Sachin, Polly today
T&T’s Red Force is two matches away from being crowned the 2013 Champions League T20 winners. The first of the last two hurdles will be in front them today and the two men being targeted are their very own countryman Keiron Pollard and the demigod here in India Sachin Tendulkar. The master batsman Tendulkar, playing in what is likely to be his last T20 tournament at the age of 40, is the man who will bring in 45,000 fans to the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium today and he is expected to give them something special. Pollard meanwhile is one of the most dangerous batsmen in T20 cricket and the T&T boys are aware of the impact both Pollard and Tendulkar can have going into this very important clash. When the umpires walk out at 8 pm here, the war will begin and the men who planned better will be showing up here for the championship match tomorrow.
In this case, the Red Force are taking no chances according to manager Omar Khan. “As we do for all our games, we try to cover every aspect going into the matches,” Khan said yesterday. “We have told the players before to view each match as a final and in this way we get the intensity we want. The guys are all fit and ready to go and it is good to see the senior players on the team taking the lead and taking charge.” The T&T team had an intense workout at midday yesterday and the players were all in good spirits and enjoying themselves. This, Khan said, is a good sign. “Once the guys are happy, this is when the Red Force is at its best. Whenever I go around the players and see this kind of mood, I know that they are dangerous when match time comes,” he said. The pitch is expected to play low and slow, as it did in their last game against Chennai Super Kings and should work in T&T’s favour. “The guys really used this pitch well in the last game and we are happy to be playing our semi-finals here. I think they are comfortable on this type of pitch because this is what they are accustomed to in the Caribbean,” Khan said.
The Mumbai Indians held their session in the afternoon and there were a number of people just lining up to look at them during their training. The crowd support will be in their favour but Khan is not worried about this. “Playing in front of big crowds like this in India is something new for our players, but we have been speaking to them and they are all professionals and know how to handle this kind of pressure that comes from the proverbial twelfth man.” Looking at the Mumbai team, Khan said they have a plan. “We know a lot about Keiron Pollard and we will be planning accordingly for him,” Khan said. “The guys know his strengths and weaknesses and they will be going after him. They have also planned for all the top guns like Tendulkar and Sharma and these guys, so we are well prepared and just looking forward to getting on the park and continuing our good work.”
T&T: Denesh Ramdin (capt), Rayad Emrit, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis, Samuel Badree, Navin Stewart, Shannon Gabriel, Khesan Yannick Ottley, Adrian Barath, Sherwin Ganga, Lendl Simmons, Ravindarnath Rampaul and Darren Bravo.
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Abu Nechim, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rishi Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Dinesh Karthik, Glenn Maxwell, Pragyan Ojha, Akshar Patel, Keiron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Dwayne Smith, Aditya Tare.
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