As the victory against Kings XI Punjab brought them back in the reckoning for the Indian Premier League play-offs, Mumbai Indians opener Lendl Simmons, who single-handedly led his side to victory, said they will approach their upcoming games with a positive mind and hope for the best results.
When asked that his team was still in the fray, how will they approach the last two league games, Simmons replied, “we will approach these positively and hope for the best”.
Having set a target of 157, Mumbai Indians won the game here on Wednesday comfortably by seven wickets riding on the back of an unbeaten 61-ball scintillating knock of 100 by their West Indian recruit.
The 29-year-old Simmons who tore apart the Kings XI bowling attack, said after the match, “it was a good batting pitch, the bowl was coming on to bat nicely”.
He said the team would play positive cricket and leave the rest to God.
“We just have to play our natural game, do our best in the next two games and leave it up to God. We have no control on what other teams do, all we can do is control what we can do as a unit,” he said.
By virtue of their last night victory against KXIP, Mumbai have notched up five wins from 12 matches. The impressive seven-wicket victory, even without two of their key bowlers — Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh — has created slender hopes for Mumbai for a late surge into the four-team play-offs.
When asked to comment on his century, the first by a player in this season, he said, “Well, I have been getting starts and getting out..it was matter of converting half-centuries to big score. I did not have 100 in mind, but after getting a start and seeing the way pitch was playing I backed myself to get a big score”.
When asked that he had a 68-run partnership with opening partner Mike Hussey of which the latter contributed just six runs, Simmons said it was a conscious decision that the West Indian would take the attack to the bowlers.
“When I took the attack to the bowlers, Mike realised that I was the one who was going at the bowling so there was an understanding between us that I will take most of the strike,” he said.
He further added, “Normally, I just go to bat and to ensure the team gets a good start during batting powerplay, which is my role…I have been keeping at the back of my mind that when I get a start and bat as long as possible for the team, make sure we win the game.”
Simmons further said having legends in the dug-out like Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble have a positive impact. He also talked about Kumble, about whom he had heard a lot by West Indian legend Brian Lara.
Simmons hoped that the IPL stint will help take his international career to the next level.
“Well, I would like to think so because IPL is played on a world stage just as World Cup is for the international cricket. I will try to repeat my performance in the next matches or try to get as closer,” he added.