Despite being virtually out of a place in the IPL-4 playoffs, Pune Warriors are taking their remaining three matches very seriously and aim to finish on a high, said leg-spinner Rahul Sharma.
Pune Warriors are currently at the second half of the points table with just four wins from 11 matches and Sharma said they are taking the last three ties as their finals.
"For us all the three matches are like finals. We are trying to finish at the very best. We want a good result in the remaining three matches," Sharma told reporters here ahead of the team's clash against Deccan Chargers at the D Y Patil stadium at Navi Mumbai.
"The last two days our guys have really worked hard. Dada (Saurav Ganguly), Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) and almost all are ready for the game," he added.
Asked whether the team still harbours the hope of qualifying for the play-offs, the 24-year-old Punjab cricketer said, "Had Kolkata Knight Riders lost their last two games and had our average been good (we would fancied our chances)."
"We have gained momentum in the last two matches. Its a new team and we are trying everything new. By next year it will be a very good team," he added. Sharma felt injuries to key players like Angelo Matthews and Ashish Nehra before the start of the IPL hampered their chances in the T20 league.
"Angelo Matthew and Ashish Nehra's injury was a big blow and as I said this is the first time and it takes time to set. Next year it would be good," he added. Asked about the injuries to South African imports Graeme Smith and Wayne Parnell, he said while he had no clue about Parnell's fitness, "Smith still carried a knee injury".
Commenting on the late signing of Ganguly as a replacement for Nehra, Sharma said, "He shares his experience with youngsters, along with the coach and Yuvi, which is good for our team."
Asked whether he was disappointed at not being selected in the India team touring West Indies, he said, "Yuvi keeps talking to me, he is like do well, this is a big stage and you will be noticed."
Asked whether the performances in the IPL should be considered while selecting a national team, he said, "In domestic cricket, Ranji is always the top tournament in India. So after that IPL's performance should count."
Sharma, who is the top wicket-taker for his side in the IPL having taken 14 scalps in 11 matches, said he wants to continue doing what he learnt in the IPL.
"I want to carry the momentum and take forward what I have learnt from here from now on," he added.