Sanath Jayasuriya

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Blog Posts by Sanath Jayasuriya

  • Team has really gelled well

    Getting into the semifinals and now the finals for the first time has been a big thrill for all of us, particularly the finals because we now are also going to be part of the Champions League T20 later this year.

     

    It was one of the first things that struck many of us, and we as a team are confident that we will do as well in the CLT20 as we have in this tournament. Last year, it was felt that the IPL teams were not as well-knit as the other teams because those teams played as a unit right through the year.

     

    The IPL teams, according to many experts, looked like an assortment of players rather than a team. I can tell you that this Mumbai Indians team has really gelled well, and we have great team spirit and camaraderie within the unit.

     

    Speaking from the cricket point of view, we know we have a side that has a good variety in its foreign players and a lot of talent within the Indian players. The bowling side is also one of the strongest in the IPL and I am confident that we have the

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  • We deserve the favourites tag

    After two years we've reached an IPL final and everyone in the franchise is determined we top a fantastic six weeks with the winner’s crown. There is a lot of confidence in the squad that we hold our own destiny in our own hands.

     

    It we play with the commitment, discipline, intelligence and skill that has been the hallmark of our cricket this season then we are right favourites to win. We deserve the favourites tag by virtue of our performance and we should be proud of that.

     

    However, we cannot afford to be complacent. In T20 cricket especially everything rests on performance. You can have the best team with the most in-form players buy on any given day you can lose if you don’t perform. We all realise this.

     

    I've spoken before about one of the secrets behind the team’s success being our togetherness. This is very important. Sachin’s superb batting has also been a major reason. But I think special mention needs to be made about the consistency of our bowlers.

     

    If you look at our

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  • No point in putting pressure on ourselves

    After two seasons of underperforming, we were all determined to reach the semi-finals of IPL 3. All the hard work and commitment has paid off and now we have a chance to go all the way.

     

    During the past few weeks we've played some top-class cricket and no one can deny that we deserve to be in the top four. We are really confident and we believe we have what it takes to beat Bangalore on Wednesday evening.

     

    It's important for us now to enjoy ourselves. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to play several big semi-finals and finals for Sri Lanka and we've always believed that we need to have fun. There is no point in putting pressure on ourselves. We need to express ourselves fully and play our natural game. There is so much talent in this Mumbai Indians team and we need to trust ourselves, and each other, to perform.

     

    One other reason we have to be confident is our team spirit and unity. Unlike some franchises who have struggled to gel this season, we are like a family.

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  • It was a top-notch performance

    Our 39-run victory against Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday evening was a great result for the team and everyone is thrilled that our semi-final berth is one hundred percent guaranteed.

     

    Despite the resting of some players, it was a top-notch performance by the guys. Delhi's bowlers did a decent job keeping our batting in check before Kieron Pollard's brutal assault in the final overs. His 45 from just 13 balls was an amazing innings, turning an evenly-balanced match our way.

     

    While he has done a grand job for us with the ball, we had not seen the full fury of Pollard with the bat until Tuesday. He hit the ball with frightening power at times and also showed us a deft touch with that dinky paddle sweep for six.

     

    The fact that he is hitting his best form as we approach the business end of the tournament is a huge positive for us. Tiwary, Rayudu, Duminy and, of course, Sachin (Tendulkar) are also batting well.

     

    I also thought that the bowlers were really fantastic against one of the

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  • We can’t afford to be complacent against KXIP

    It was disappointing to lose to Chennai but they were the better team on the night. They were superb in the field and that was the difference between us. It was unfortunate that Sachin felt unwell, but I am sure he will recover before our next match which is on Friday against Kings XI Punjab. 

     

    He was struggling early on in the very humid conditions and decided it would be better to go off, recuperate and come back on later. For some reason, his retiring triggered a collapse and a spate of rash shots saw us going down like nine pins. Harbhajan, once again, hit a few sixes and tried his best to get us close but it was not enough to stop Chennai from grabbing their third on the trot at home.

     

    This is in no way an excuse because the Chennai bowlers, without Muralitharan and Morkel, who were rested, did very well. The ones that came in for them, Ashwin and my countryman Thushara ended up with two wickets each.

     

    Thushara must have delighted to take the prize wicket of Sachin after the

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  • Satisfying to see youngsters doing well

    The match against Punjab ended up being a thriller, going right down to the wire with us walking away winners with three balls to spare. All credit has to go to Shikar Dhiwan, who gave us something to build on with a composed half-century, Saurabh Tiwary and R. Sathish who took us to victory and a step closer to a semi-final berth. It is also to their credit that the Indian youngsters kept their nerve, not just in the death, but right through the match, despite the early fall of skipper Sachin Tendulkar.

     

    We meet the Deccan Chargers next, for the second time in a week, and it will be good to take the experience of a match like this into the game on Saturday. The Chargers may have lost three matches in a row, but they can never be taken for granted: no side which boasts of a line-up that includes Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs and Andrew Symonds can be, because any one of them can win a match on their day.

     

    The other players we will have to watch out for are among the Indian

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  • CSK will be looking to get back to winning ways

    Season III of the IPL is now half-way through and Mumbai Indians are on top, and that gives me a good feeling. After average displays over the last two seasons it is nice to see us heading the chart and inching closer to a semi-final berth. This does not mean we will take things easy: rather we will be wanting a win every time we go out into the middle as there are other very good teams snapping at our heels.

     

    Just behind us are last year's runners-up Bangalore Royal Challengers, and they seem to have taken up where they left off last year. They are led by the very experienced, and ever-wily, Anil Kumble, and he has players like Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn, and a talented bunch of youngsters like Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey and Vinay Kumar at his disposal.

     

    Next are Rajasthan Royals, who started off poorly, but have now won four matches on the trot. One has to attribute this to Shane Warne, who I think is a really a master strategist. He

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  • Look out for Sachin versus Lee

    Sunday night's win against the Deccan Chargers was a brilliant one, and all kudos to Harbhajan, first for the superb knock he played, and then the three wickets he followed it up with.

     

    Deccan did have us on the ropes at one point, but Bhajji's whirlwind 49 off just 18 balls got us to 172 and what turned out to be a match-winning total. Maybe using Sachin Tendulkar's bat has something to do with it and a bit of the Little Master's magic rubbed off! Bhajji, however, does take his batting very seriously and has been working hard at nets and it paid off.

     

    Besides Bhajji, Zaheer and Malinga also did a wonderful job, and Sachin carried on his rollicking form too, and his move to open the bowling with Bhajji was as aggressive as it was inspired. And it worked with the dangerous Gilchrist falling in the very first over and that set the tone for the rest of the match. 

     

    We play Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday, and though they have not been having the best of times this season, with just the one

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  • Key battle between Murali and our top order

    The team was rightly pleased with what was a thoroughly professional performance by the Mumbai Indians the other night against Kolkata Knight Riders. The seven-wicket win was the result of good planning and superb execution by the bowlers.

     

    All teams have game plans but what was really special was the way the bowlers stuck so well to our strategy. Chris Gayle made a fifty and was their highest scorer but he was becalmed right throughout his innings and was never able to cut loose.

     

    Credit for that should be shared among all the bowlers but I thought Lasith (Malinga) bowled really well to Chris, as he has done in the past for Sri Lanka. The strategy of keeping the ball full at the Brabourne Stadium also worked really well.

     

    Sachin (Tendulkar) led the run chase with customary authority. Our plan is simple, we want him to bat right through and the rest of us are supposed to bat around him. The fact that he is scoring at such a great rate meant we won comfortably.

     

    In Thursday night's

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  • We’re all focused on the team’s goals

    Our seven-wicket defeat to Bangalore Royal Challengers on Saturday night was obviously disappointing but we just have to dust ourselves down, learn what we can from the loss and focus on our next challenge: a very tough game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.

     

    The beauty about this Mumbai Indians team is that we are very close. It's like a family this year with everyone united. We are all supporting each other and we're all focused on the team's goals. That is very important when you are playing in a competition like this.

     

    The big turning point in our defeat to the Royal Challengers was that disastrous 11th over of the innings when we lost Rayudu, Sachin and Bravo, slumping from 74 for three to 76 for six. All credit to Vinay Kumar: he bowled four very tight overs and used a lot of variation. His three-wicket strike rocked us.

     

    We'd also struggled a little bit at the start of the innings with me departing early. In our two earlier wins we’d got off to solid starts and that is

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