Mumbai Indians’ struggling players have faith in each other’s ability and the belief that they can wriggle out of difficult situations, all-rounder Kieron Pollard said on Tuesday.

Mumbai Indians defeated Punjab Kings by six wickets to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. The team is placed fifth with 10 points from 11 matches so far.

“We don’t actually plan for things to be like this. What we have is belief in one another and we believe we can get out of any situation,” Pollard said after the win.

“We have put ourselves in this situation and the players and the management are sticking together. It is a matter of giving all the guys confidence and finding the best solutions. These are guys who have done it for us time and time again.”

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Pollard did not appreciate the criticism the team was facing from outside. “It’s difficult when you have a lot of other people on the outside as well speaking about it. These people speak and they don’t understand what people go through as cricketers. So for us, it is about backing individuals and trying to give them the confidence to do well because they are young, talented individuals.”

Pollard said its focus was on present when asked how the pitches were likely to behave during the T20 World Cup. “To be honest, the World Cup is irrelevant at this point of time, we are playing the IPL tournament. When you are in a tournament as an individual, you look to think about the present and not look too far ahead,” he said.

 

“Everyone is going on about the pitches, but you cannot get what you want all the time. As a professional athlete, you need to adapt. For me, personally, it is about staying in the present and dealing with what is in front of us as a team,” Pollard, who starred with an all-round performance (2 for 8 and 15 not out (7b)) added.

Pollard also had a word of praise for Saurabh Tiwary, who scored 45 in MI’s winning cause, saying he had done well in the opportunities he got and it was a sign of a guy who was focussed on what he needed to do.

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“Every time he’s gotten an opportunity for us, more often than not, coming out and churning out numbers of batting in those crunch situations. And that is a sign of a guy who is focused on what he needs to do, sometimes he misses out for invariable reasons, but that’s the nature of team sports. He was the backbone for us. well played to him,” he added.

Young Punjab Kings spinner Ravi Bishnoi said he felt good about dismissing Suryakumar Yadav off the first ball he faced.

“I wanted to bowl a googly to Surya first up. If he picks it ok, he didn’t and it hit the stumps. I wanted to bowl wicket to wicket. Surya was deceived and dismissed. His dismissal felt good for me,” he said.

Bishnoi also got the key wicket of MI captain Rohit Sharma in his spell of 4 for 25.

Asked about the performances of the overseas players in the team, Bishnoi said, “They are trying their best in the nets. They want to perform. It is a matter of time.. But they are giving their best for the team.”

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