The Challengers have fielded an unchanged eleven in their last five games, but skipper Anil Kumble hinted that for Wednesday’s tie against the Chennai Super Kings, changes were on the cards.
“We need to see which four overseas players we can fit in, we are contemplating on the options available,” Kumble said on Tuesday evening. “There will be a shift in strategy. KP, Ross and White bring in a lot of firepower. The other domestic players will come into the picture as well as the strategy shifts.”
Once again refusing to look too far ahead, Kumble said his team was prepared for the Super Kings, on a four-match losing streak, to come hard at them. “We want to start off the second leg on a good note,” remarked Kumble as the Challengers resume their campaign after a five-day break. “In the format of the IPL, you don’t usually get five days off. It was a welcome break for all of us.
“Chennai are a good team who have done exceptionally well in the first two editions. We are aware that they have not done really well so far in this competition, but we know they will come strong at us.”
The Challengers, Kumble acknowledged, have been well served by their Indian domestic players. “Indian players play a huge role,” said Kumble. “We must remember that of the 11 players, seven are Indians. Therefore they know that they need to perform, and we are really blessed that guys like Manish Pandey, Virat Kohli, Robin Uthappa and Vinay Kumar have played really well and consistently well. You can easily get carried away after one good performance, but these guys have followed up one performance with another which is commendable.”
Kumble reiterated that the lack of adequate game-time for the likes of Rahul Dravid, Mark Boucher and Eoin Morgan was not an issue at all. “In the 20-over format, you don’t want your middle-order to be tested. Saying that, if you look at the quality in our ranks, given their experience, it is not too much of a worry. I look at it as a positive thing – to go out and play freely, and express yourself.”