Dhoni's absence is an advantage for Royal Challengers: Kumble

Dhoni's absence is an advantage for Royal Challengers: Kumble

Anil Kumble

Dhoni is nursing a bruised right forearm, and the Royal Challengers skipper said that was a setback for the Chennai outfit. “In a Twenty20 game, it depends on who plays well on that particular day,” Kumble said on Monday. “That Dhoni is injured is an advantage for us and a setback for Chennai. Justin Kemp –– you know his ability with the bat and ball, so maybe that’s an advantage if he doesn’t play.”

At the same time, Kumble ruled out any lowering of the guard. “It’s good that our bowling as well as batting units have done well in the last three games. We will hope for the same tomorrow,” the leggie remarked. “They have quite a number of good players -- there is Hayden and Raina. They have some quality batsmen, so we really need to be up for tomorrow. You can’t take much for granted and we will definitely not be complacent.”
Matthew Hayden’s Mongoose bat has been in the news of late, but typically, all Kumble would say was, “I just look at the batsman. I am not concerned about the bat he uses. You plan a strategy for a batsman, not for the bat.”

IPL history suggests that teams that have started well haven’t necessarily finished as well. “I don’t really like to look that far ahead,” Kumble offered. “I would like to take one game at a time and not look at where we stand on the points table. Even when we were number eight last year halfway through the tournament, I didn’t look at the table.

“For me, being at the bottom of the table or top of the table doesn’t matter. What’s important is that we need to win a cricket match, and that will be the focus. If we keep winning every match we play then, automatically the results and points table will look up. We are not really looking that far ahead, but hopefully, we will be able to change the trend.”

The Bangalore crowd, Kumble agreed, has played its part. “It’s nice to play a home game when you have won two home games before, and there will be a great atmosphere tomorrow,” Kumble noted. “When the Karnataka players were playing the Ranji Trophy final, there was a lot of following for Manish Pandey, Mithun, Vinay and the Karnataka team, because they were not just looked at as the State Ranji team but as an RCB player also. In that sense, there has been a lot of fan following.”

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