Beating Chennai was big morale-booster: Harbhajan
Of the teams a depleted Mumbai Indians has managed to upstage in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20, captain Harbhajan Singh said beating ousted title holders Chennai Super Kings was the biggest morale-booster for his injury-ravaged side.
"Among all the opposition in the tournament, I think Chennai Super Kings is the best side. It was the toughest side to beat and we take lot of confidence in playing them at home and winning from them," Harbhajan said after the 10-run semi-final win over Somerset to set up a summit clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore here.
"It (beating Chennai) boosted our confidence," he added.
Image: Harbhajan Singh
'I back my players in crunch situations'
Despite missing key players such as regular captain Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, Mumbai have managed to impress in the tournament and Harbhajan said it not just good luck.
"It is not sheer luck alone though it plays a part. We have quality bowlers in our side and I back my players in crunch situations. End of the day that is what matters. We have won games from dead situations," he said.
Talking about the wicket here, Harbhajan said, "It was a slower wicket, kind of turner. It was a difficult wicket to hit the ball. Lately, I saw David Warner had played a fantastic game the other night against CSK.
"There was no side spin and the wicket is good today. It is a good one for Twenty20 but not as good for spinners. Looking do well in given conditions is the same situation for the rival teams. We need to back ourselves," he said.
Image: Habhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga
'Some of my boys return as men'
"Definitely we are disappointed but it was something we hadn't imagined landing up just 24 hours before the first match, and reaching this far. There were a couple of boys in the side and they would return as men," he chuckled.
Image: Somerset players celebrate after picking up a wicket
'Franklin bowled a spectacular over'
Middle-over slackness was as much a problem as the late-over succumbs and Thomas lamented that one of their pinch-hitters Kieron Pollard was part of the rival team.
"We lost a bit in the middle overs, but that's usually the time Polly (Kieron Pollard) bats for us and he was playing for the other team.
"We wanted to go with the minimum amount of runs in the last over. But James Franklin bowled a spectacular over, and then (Lasith) Malinga was too hot to handle," he observed.Overall, he was satisfied with his team's performance.
"The first Champions League (2009) launched my career, but we didn't perform particularly well in the series. But this time we have really fought hard and I'm proud of my boys. They have entertained right from the first match," he said.
Image: Kieron Pollard