Mumbai Indian coach Ricky Ponting said: KKR game a virtual final for us

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Sachin Tendulkar

MI coach hopes his men can keep thriving in pressure situations

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Mumbai Indians have had a roller-coaster of a journey in Pepsi IPL 2015. After losing their first four games, they bounced back to win an incredible five straight games. And then came the whirlwind named AB de Villiers that blew them away in their own backyard.

It would take enormous effort for any team to overcome the kind of onslaught that was inflicted upon them. But MI head coach Ricky Ponting made sure his team put the loss against RCB behind them as quickly as possible and focus on the “most important game” of the tournament ahead – the match against Kolkata Knight Riders.

“I made it very clear to the guys at the end of that game that we just have to move on really quickly and leave that result in the change room,” Ponting said ahead of the clash against KKR at the Wankhede Stadium.

“The other thing that I stressed on that night was that AB’s innings was one of the best I have ever seen in this format but what I was most pleased with was the way we fought back into the game with our batting. We scored almost 200 (196 for 7 in reply to RCB’s 235) ourselves and that was a positive outcome for us from that game.”

Talking about their last home game of the season in the league phase, Ponting said the pressure will not be any more than they have felt in the last few games. He described Thursday’s contest against KKR as a virtual final.

“The game doesn’t worry us much. The last five games or so have been pretty much the same in that they were all must-win games for us,” Ponting said. “After getting off to a slow start we have just focused on every game and played all of them as a final.

“Tomorrow is probably the most important game for us. There is no point looking at the mathematics and how other teams are doing because we have no control over that. We have control over our performance tomorrow and we will make sure we play our best game.”

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