New Delhi, May 8: As the IPL 5 season moves towards its business end, Mumbai Indians coach-cum-mentor Shaun Pollock believes his team can qualify for the play-offs and eventually go on to grab their first IPL title.
"We have a strong team on paper but that doesn't mean much because cricket is a funny game. We have not done consistently well in both batting or bowling on a given day. But we have shown what we are capable of. Now is the time for the boys to play to their potential and peak," he said.
Mumbai Indians, who were the favourites to win the league this league, were boosted after they won the Champions League Twenty 20 last year.
"The CLT20 win helped us to believe that we can get over the line in any given situation. The win helped the team to handle pressure better," he said.
Mumbai Indians snatched two thrilling last-ball wins this season. Rohit Sharma's six off the last ball Deccan chargers and while Dwayne Smith hit a four off the final ball against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday. Mumbai have recently won three consecutive games.
"These victories only boost your confidence and the belief in your abilities," he said."It also helps the team in impressing the franchise owners."
Pollock brushed off suggestions that Mumbai have crowded the side with 11 overseas players when only four can be fielded in a match.
"The problem in Twenty20 is that you have to work with different variables in different matches. It is a challenge for the coaching staff to select the best four overseas players for the match. It is also a challenge to keep the overseas players motivated and our chaps have been understanding," he said.
When asked if too many big names in the Mumbai camp has denied domestic players to an opportunity to showcase their talent, Pollock said, "It is hard to say. We have Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik, who are experienced so other guys don't get much exposure. We choose a team keeping in mind the best combination that could win the match."
Though the batsmen are to fire this season, Pollock was happy with the bowlers performance, Five fast bowlers are among the top-seven wicket-takers this season. Of these Lasith Malinga (20), Munaf Patel (12) and Kieron Pollard (11) are from Mumbai Indians.
"Malinga has been the best fast bowler, But Dale Steyn has also done well. It is good to see fast bowlers influencing the game that favours the batsmen," he said.