IPL 2019: Final against CSK is just another match: Rohit Sharma

The Mumbai Indians skipper doesn't think the break between the Qualifier and final has hampered momentum for his team.

Rohit and Mahela

Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma along with coach Mahela Jayawardene at a press conference ahead of the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) final on Sunday.   -  R Senthil Kumar

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and coach Mahela Jayawardene were bullish of their team winning a fourth Indian Premier League title and said Sunday’s match is just another match as they gear up to face Chennai Super Kings in the final of the Indian Premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

The Mumbai Indians captain and coach said playing in a neutral venue doesn’t act like a deterrent for their team.

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“Yes, of course, it's a beautiful venue for both the teams. The teams have played here before as well. So, they're aware of the conditions and the dimensions of the ground. What will be important is to assess the pitch as quickly as we can, and see what the ideal score on that particular pitch will be and see what the ideal score will be if we bat first or what we should restrict CSK to."

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The skipper said it was important to focus on the team’s strengths rather than the those of the opposition.

“We have to play good cricket. For us as a team, it's important to focus on the day, and think about how we can win the game rather than what has happened in the past, what our team or the opposition has done. For us, as long as I'm concerned, the focus will be on the game and how we can play a good one.

We will not focus on what has happened in the past, who has won trophies how many times etc. We have to treat this as another match and that is what we have done through the tournament,” he explained.

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Mumbai Indians coach Jayawardene said forming a core group of players is what had defined the team's success.

“I think, we've created a culture not just now, but over the years. We try to keep a core group of players going forward so that they have that identity and the passion to play for the team. And, whenever youngsters are introduced, they walk into that culture as well. It's quite a unique proposition for them,” he said.

Rohit said it is a special feeling to have made it into the finals. “At the same time, winning the fourth title and being one of the successful teams in the tournament  doesn't really matter a lot. For us, what matters is thinking about each game at a time, and taking (it) game by game, and (see) how we can improve as a team and how we can move forward,” he added.

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However, the opener said there are some areas that Mumbai still needs to work on. “The areas of concern will never stop because we've set a standard for ourselves that we want to live up to. And there's never a time you will play a perfect game, there will be some sort of a hole which you need to fill."

“In the tournament, at any stage at any given point or against any opposition, you might not have the result that you're looking for. So, I think you have to be good on that day. For that, we need to be prepared, have a good plan and follow what has been laid out for everyone and keep going forward, he added.

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The Mumbai skipper doesn't think the four-day break between Qualifier 1 and the final has affected momentum. “We have been on the road for a while, we were playing back to back games. We are fortunate to have finished on the top of the table, qualify in the first play-off and get three to four days break. Everyone needed one. We could rejuvenate, come back together as a group and get together better and move forward. I don't think it's a momentum breaker to have three to four days off. In fact, I look at it in a positive way,” he said.

Right from the start of the tournament, different players have stepped up as match-winners, something Jayawardene credits for the teams success.

"It takes pressure off the key players. We have had players creating opportunities to win matches. The opposition is also finding it difficult to plan and sometimes have no idea about how we approach a certain game, because different players step up everytime. So hopefully, we play one more game where we, as a team, can perform together in different aspects and help us cross the line," the former Sri Lanka captain said.