Bowling coach Shane Bond is confident the Mumbai Indians will “do some damage” in Thursday's Indian Premier League Qualifier 1 against the Delhi Capitals.
Mumbai are the reigning champions and beat the Capitals twice during the round-robin stage of the IPL 2020. They have progressed to this season's playoffs despite the absence of record-breaking fast bowler Lasith Malinga and brief exclusion of injured captain Rohit Sharma.
South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult, Australian seamers James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile, Indian brothers Krunal and Hardik Pandya are among the stars in the Mumbai squad. They have other local talent in batsmen Ishan Kishan, Saurabh Tiwary and Suryakumar Yadav, too.
“We've got as good a batting line-up as anyone's in the tournament, and our bowling line-up's as good as anyone's in the tournament. We are a team that no-one really wants to play, because they know that if we play well we can do some damage,” said Bond.
Pride in Pollard
Mumbai's most recent victory was over the Sunrisers Hyderabad. West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard, who briefly captained the XI in the absence of Sharma, starred with 41 from 25 deliveries.
“When our top order is scoring runs, we are scoring big runs. So, look, the bonus from the batting point of view was that Kieron got to face 20-odd balls and whacked it, so that puts him in great shape for the finals, because he hasn't had too much batting,” added Bond.
“We move into the finals now, where we have a whole lot of players who have experienced winning the tournament, they know how to win, we have won tight games, so we go in there with that behind us and that makes a huge difference.”
The winner of this match will advance to the final. The loser will play Hyderabad or the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Sunrisers won the IPL in 2016. Bangalore don't have an IPL title, despite reaching three finals.
This year's IPL is being played in the United Arab Emirates. The Dubai International Cricket Stadium will host the Qualifer 1. Other matches have been played in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.