Gambhir-led KKR will come very hard on us: Harbhajan Singh

We know Gautam Gambhir-led Kolkata Knight Riders will come very hard at us, writes Harbhajan Singh in his column in The Times Of India, adding that it has been noticed in this edition of IPL that teams have chased some tough totals.

“The idea is to look for that one big over and then catch on the momentum. Rayudu has now become a master in pulling the team of such conditions. He is a clean striker of the ball and the biggest hallmark is his ability is to pick the right ball to hit. The increasing run rate and the pressure around it doesn’t bother him.  Pollard joined him at a very critical juncture and he displayed his power with some immaculate hitting,” writes Bhajji.

“All’s well that ends well. We have gained some momentum and will give our best to sustain it. Our next game against Kolkata will be tough. They have lost two games in a row and will come hard at us. They are one of the strongest sides in the league and we will have play our very best to beat them,” adds the Mumbai Indians skipper.

Jacques writes in Hindustan Times that some defeats hurt more and Monday’s loss to the Super Kings was disappointing for two reasons. It removed us from the top two places and it came off the last ball of the match. That’s never a good feeling!

“All we can do is get back to winning ways and hope that’s enough to move up a place. But if we finish third or fourth and have to win two games to get to the final, I still back us to do exactly that. It is crazy for a team to expect an easy ride to the final, the spread of talent amongst the franchises is too even for any team to establish dominance over 16 matches. The Delhi Daredevils have had a great campaign up to this point, and have been the team of the season, but even they could lose two games in the playoffs and fail to reach the final,” writes Kallis.

Meanwhile G Viswanath in his column in The Hindu writes that Mumbai Indians have been generally good in the batting, bowling and fielding departments of the game in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL). “But a few players have crossed the line and taken a beating on the behavioural count on the field. The contrast is glaring and it's not surprising to find MI at a low seventh position in the Royal Challenge Fair Play Award points table.

Its supporters have all the reasons in the world to be pleased with its performance following its Champions League Twenty20 title triumph last year, but all the same they are distinctly disgusted with the conduct of a handful of its players, the volatile Munaf Patel in particular,” writes Viswanath, adding that the match officials have been prompt in handing out punishment.

“The teams in the IPL are rated on the basis of (1) how the spirit of the game was upheld during the match (2) respect shown towards the opposition (3) respect of the laws of the game and (4) respect shown towards the umpires.”