Graeme Smith

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We have to control our destiny from here

As we all know by now, Warnie is down with a hamstring. He didn't train on Wednesday, but has not said whether he will be playing or not: perhaps he'll take that call on Thursday, before we take on the Mumbai Indians.

 

It goes without saying that we need a win after two losses in a row, and it is crucial that we get one against Mumbai. All of us need to step up and play better than we did against Deccan on Monday. We have put ourselves under pressure now, and a win would give just the boost we need to take into the rest of our outings and push for a semi-final place. We did not finish well against Deccan, and conceded 70-odd runs in the last six overs. We did not start well either and lost the top order quickly and some poor decision-making did not help.

 

Despite Mumbai coming off two wins, we are both in the same must-win situation. This can be said of every team at this stage of the competition, but it will be up to us to perform better. We have to control our destiny from here on to make it into the last four, so how we handle the pressure will be key.

 

Mumbai are a good balanced side and have a more experienced line-up than us, while we have a lot of young guys, and not many experienced Indian cricketers. They have Sanath, Sachin, who has been playing lower down the last couple of games, and JP Duminy who has been doing well throughout the tournament. Malinga has bowled well up-front for them, and Sachin has got good spin options in Sanath and Harbhajan. But Malinga is the key, and if we can play well against him we will be able to put their spinners under pressure.

 

Our bowling has been sound throughout the tournament and it is our batting that has been the problem. So if our bowlers can get Sanath, Sachin and JP we will be able to restrict them. Then we will need our batting unit to click and deliver and cause their bowlers some anxiety. Perhaps, Yusuf Pathan needs to bat more towards the top of the order, but that is a decision for Warnie to make.

 

We really have to get our combination right, and that has not been happening as we have been lacking a bit in confidence. Everybody has to be good and we need to back each other and our skills, and not worry about the situation. What really matters is that we focus on the 40 overs, go out there, play our natural game, enjoy the cricket and hopefully do it successfully! (Gameplan)

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