IPL 2020: We'd like to try and finish in top two, says MI batsman Quinton de Kock

Mumbai Indians opener Quinton de Kock is all praise for young Ishan Kishan and skipper Rohit Sharma for bringing the best out of him in the tournament.

It has been a memorable outing for Mumbai Indians in this edition of the Indian Premier League. Despite some challenges, the defending champion has already sealed its place in the playoffs.

Opener Quinton de Kock believes that the aim is to stay in the top-two. “I’m not a part of that thinking group but if I had to take a guess, we’d like to try and finish in the top two. That would be our No. 1 goal, so the next game is also as important as the last one,” the South African stumper-batsman said ahead of Mumbai Indians’ game against Delhi Capitals.

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With the playoffs set to begin next week, not much of a change is expected. “ It doesn’t feel like too much changes because in IPL every game is such an intense game anyway. It’s just a matter of when you’re likely to get kicked out of playing in the playoffs. The fact that we have come so far, we don’t want to get kicked out. Other than that, not too much changes,” he said.

After a slow start, de Kock managed to bounce back - amassing 392 runs in 12 games so far. Talking about the initial challenges, the South African admitted that he took some time to get back in shape. “I knew I was batting well in the nets. (There were) just a couple of silly mistakes in the first bit of the tournament. (There is) nothing that can’t be fixed, (it’s) just a mental thing,” he said.

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Asked if an experienced middle-order has helped him to be aggressive at the top, de Kock said: “Having an experienced middle order, just in general helps out in any situation. I wouldn’t say it changes our mind-set up front. We always try and look to get off to the best start possible, whether they’re there or not.”

“Obviously knowing that they are behind you, the likes of SKY (Suryakumar Yadav), Polly (Pollard), Hardik (Pandya), when you are out there, you just bat to the situation and if you’re still lucky enough to be out there batting with them, it’s just important you end up giving them strike because they’re the bigger strikers of the ball,” he stated.

This season, de Kock has opened the innings with Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan. And he believes that there is no change in approach. “Not much has changed, to be honest. Me and Ishan have a good understanding just as me and Rohit have a good understanding. Ishan’s young and upcoming and very talented, so for him to show his flair is really nice to see. (He) plays a lot of shots and sometimes it can help me.

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“When I’m not going, he ends up taking all the pressure off me. That’s a pretty good thing in a partnership.”

With the playoff stage nearing, there is still no clarity on the availability of captain Rohit - who is recovering from a hamstring injury.

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