Mumbai: Kumar Sangakkara is although fancying his team’s chances against the struggling Mumbai Indians, the Deccan Chargers’ skipper has refused to take their opponents lightly when the two teams face each other at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. After losing four of their eight matches so far, Mumbai are third-from-bottom in the points table. Chargers too have not fared well either. They are, in fact, at the bottom of the table by winning just one of their seven matches.
"Probably [we can advantage of Mumbai’s form], but we know how good a side Mumbai is. We beat Pune [Warriors India] and hope to keep the momentum going. In T20, it is just about playing the best cricket on the day," said Sangakkara. He also hoped that his team will be more disciplined when confronted with a close game again after losing the first leg in the last over at Vishakapatnam.
"We came close to beating Mumbai in our first game which we probably should have won. They needed 18 in the last over and Rohit [Sharma] was brilliant in that over. If we get them into such positions, we have to be tighter and a bit more disciplined to win the game," said the Sri Lankan.
Sangakkara said his team should have won at least three more games. "I think we played very good cricket so far, but lost out on crucial moments of the game. It may be a little error on the field or falling 10 runs short. We had four winning opportunities, three of which we should have closed out against Mumbai, Rajasthan [Royals] and Delhi [Daredevils]. But like I said, those mistakes cost us those games. We train very hard, we play very well, but sometimes the intensity and the pressure forces us to make mistakes. We are trying to be calm on the field and ensure we keep getting into the winning positions. We need to concentrate a lot harder on those crucial moments," Sangakkara said.
He also said that South African speedster Dale Steyn, who sat out in the match against Pune, will be available for selection on Sunday, but whether he will take the field against Mumbai would depend on the type of pitch prepared for the game. Dale Styen is always up for selection. He is the best bowler in the world without any doubts. It depends on how the wicket looks like and hopefully we will make the right decision," Sangakkara said.
Steyn has been the top performer for the Chargers over the last two seasons and has picked up nine wickets from five games this season. Sangakkara also termed Juan 'Rusty' Theron as among the best bowlers in the closing stages of an innings and commended his outstanding performance against Pune. "Rusty [Theron], probably, is the best death bowler in the world. He is a specialist in that area. Pune's wicket was dead slow and if the ball was going to get cut, we needed someone to bowl those death overs really well, and he did an outstanding job for us."
Sangakkara indicated that it is pointless to look too far ahead and calculate how many games the team needs to win to qualify for the playoffs. "We want to win every game we play. We have to wait and see how far we go. We want to keep things simple and not look too far ahead," he added.