Weak middle order a concern for Delhi

Published: Saturday, May 24, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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New Delhi: A buoyant Mumbai Indians' captain Sachin Tendulkar made his team's intentions very clear saying his side will target the brittle middle-order of Delhi Daredevils, which hasn't clicked in the IPL so far, when the two teams take on each other in a race to grab a semi-final berth at Feroz Shah Kotla ground here today.

Speaking to mediapersons here yesterday, Tendulkar said, ''Sehwag and Gambhir are two key players and they have played very well so far in the tournament. The Daredevils depend too much on them.''

''We would like to get them out cheaply and see how there middle-order plays because they are still to be tested in the tournament,'' Tendulkar said.

The 35-year-old Tendulkar ridiculed the suggestions that the loss against Kings XI Punjab have dented there confidence and added that the morale of his side is pretty high.

''Still there is a lot of cricket left in the tournament.

During the initial stages of the tournament people had various opinions about us but we chose to play cricket and and had done extremely well,'' he added.

When queried about the reasons for his side's series of losses in the initial stages of the IPL Tendulkar replied back saying, ''I believe we have played pretty well in the last few matches.

''Teams were playing with new combinations and it took some time to figure out the strengths but now the tournament has reached an exciting phase,'' he answered.

The former Indian skipper said he was enjoying his stint in the IPL as a captain and added that he has been benefited with the inputs from other senior players.

''It has been a wonderful experience and I am enjoying the captaincy with the help of Shaun Pollock and Sanath Jayasurya.

''They (Pollock and Jayasurya) have been a great help and have came up with useful inputs to some of the problems,'' he said.

The batting maestro said he was very impressed with some of the local players like Dhawal Kulkarni, Rohan Raje and Abhishek Nayar.

He said though IPL has made it big which was always expected, the Test cricket will always stay at the pinnacle.

''I always felt IPL would be a successful event as the best players from the world were competing in the event.

''But still the Test cricket can never be replaced and will always be special to any cricketer and I think Twenty20 is not a threat to the ODIs as well,'' he noted.

Meanwhile, Tendulkar did not reveal his sentiments on playing for country and playing for the corporate franchise.

''I have always held the bat in my hand with one goal and that is to score runs,'' he concluded.


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