Mumbai, April 15: Kochi Tuskers Kerela on Friday stormed back into the Indian Premier League (IPL) with an upset victory over Mumbai Indians and captain Mahela Jayawardene has indicated that the victory will send out a strong message to the other teams in the League.
The Kochi Tuskers on Friday chased down a stiff 182/2, set by Mumbai Indians, to register their first win in the tournament.
"It (win) means a lot. All the guys are working really hard. We had an extra session at the nets after the loss against Pune, we showed a lot of characters even in the games we had lost.
Jayawardene also paid tribute to a transformation in spirit when the team was down in the dumps.
"The character that the guys have shown is brilliant. We have to keep fighting till the last. I think the rival teams will take us a little more seriously now following this victory. It gives us confidence as well," he added.
Jayawardene said it was important to see off his Sri Lankan teammate Lasith Malinga who has been in rocking form in the Indian Premier League.
"We knew we had the talent, we had an extra batsman today. The wicket was wet, they had a few dangerous bowler, we had to negotiate them. The start against Malinga was crucial. They are really a very good team but we were better today," he said.
Quizzed about his dismissal by Malinga, Jayawardene said, "I knew what was coming. I knew how to play it but I missed it. It was a crucial moment of the match."
Asked if the negative reports about the Kochi outfit in the run-up to the IPL affect them, Jayawardene said, "I don't try to control things which I can't control, my only focus was to control the team."