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MI to figure out opening combination

Press Trust Of India
May 21, 2012 at 11:03am IST

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Jaipur: Dwayne Smith may have produced a blistering 58-ball unbeaten 87 at the top of the order but Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh on Sunday said that they are still looking to get the right opening combination.

"We are still trying to figure out who is the best partner for [Sachin] Tendulkar," Harbhajan said after his team crushed Rajasthan Royals by 10 wickets on Sunday. The skipper said the likes of Herschelle Gibbs and Smith give the team options. "Gibbs has done well in a few innings. Smith did well today. It gives us options. Our fielding was probably slightly better than what RR did today," he added.

Man-of-the-Match Smith, who shared a record 163-run opening-wicket partnership with Tendulkar, was pleased to bat with the veteran Indian batsman. "It was a great privilege to bat with Tendulkar. I have been opening for some time now, and it was not new for me. It is good to get some runs. It is crunch time in the tournament now," Smith said.

Who to partner Tendulkar? Mumbai still unsure

Although Dwayne Smith hit a blistering 58-ball 87 against RR, MI are still looking to get the right opening combination.

Smith also said he did not expect the emphatic 10-wicket triumph that his team managed.

"We had not expected such an easy victory. I won't say that their bowling was bad but we batted very well," said

Smith.

"I had a very good partnership with Sachin (Tendulkar) and that helped us win so easily. I was just listening to Sachin and did what he said," said smith, who played a 58-ball 87-run unbeaten knock.

"This victory has certainly given us confidence and we will carry it into the playoff tie against Chennai Super Kings on May 23 in Bangalore," said the batsman.

Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid said they needed early wickets to put pressure on the Mumbai side but both Smith and Tendulkar didn’t give them any chance. "162 was not a bad score. We needed early wickets but when batsmen like Smith get going, it is tough [for the fielding side]," he said. Rajasthan finished their IPL campaign with seven wins from 16 games, and Dravid said there have been a lot of positives. "[There are] a lot of positives this season. I am going to spend some time at home, I have enjoyed it here. It has been good fun. I will relax and see how life is out of cricket," he added.

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