'Pollard was terrific'
Mumbai Indians skipper Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday lauded big-hitting Keiron Pollard for ensuring his side's first win in the Champions League Twenty20, but admitted that bowling still remains a concern for the IPL team in the tournament.
Riding on Pollard's destructive 30-ball 72, which was studded with nine sixes and a four, Mumbai defeated Guyana by 31 runs in Group B tie to register their first win in the tournament.
And Tendulkar was quick to admit that brilliant Pollard was the difference between victory and defeat on Thursday.
"Our batting was terrific, especially Pollard was terrific. It was a tremendous effort by him and towards the end JP (Duminy) came up with some smart batting," he said.
"He (Pollard) has terrific bat swing and tremendous power, so he can clear any ground in the world. He played smartly. It's just not about going bang-bang from ball one. He paced his innings beautifully," Tendulkar added.
The Mumbai captain, however, said that there was room for improvement in his bowling department.
"I am sort of ok with the performance. I wouldn't say that I am satisfied because we could have finished better. The bowling can get better. In batting we have been able to get close to 180 in all the matches. It is probably our bowling in which we need to work upon," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar said his side would come out with the same intensity in their do-or-die match against IPL rivals Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.
"Our focus is to play good cricket and that is what we would be looking against Royal Challengers Bangalore. They are a very, very good side and it is going to be a great contest," he said.
Image: Keiron Pollard
'180 is always a difficult score to chase'
Tendulkar's Guyana counterpart Ramnaresh Sarwan too was of the view that until Pollard arrived at the crease, his side was very much in the match.
"He (Pollard) played brilliantly. He took the game away from us. Sachin (Tendulkar) and Shikhar (Dhawan) were going pretty well but we pulled it back," Sarwan said.
"While chasing we wanted to get off to a good start, wanted to keep wickets in hand for the last five overs but it was too late. 180 is always a difficult chase, 160 would have been a chaseable target," he added.
Man-of-the-match Pollard, who was pushed up to the number three position on Thursday, said for him it does not matter where he bats as long as the team ends up on the winning side.
"I don't have any preferences in batting order. That's for the team to decide. At the end of the day I am ready to bat at any position for the team. If the team comes out victorious, I am happy," the imposing West Indian said.
"I had a couple of overs, so I thought to get settled down first with a couple of singles before going for the big hits. The pitch was nice. The ball was coming on to the bat and you just
needed to connect properly," Pollard said.
Image: Ramnaresh Sarwan