Punjab gear up for their 'biggest test'
Tom Moody, the Kings XI Punjab coach, has said Wednesday's clash against the Mumbai Indians his team's "biggest" test in the Indian Premier League.
Punjab have seven wins out of 10 games so far, which puts them second in the points table, but Moody felt the job was far from over as far as entry into the semi-finals was concerned.
"(Only) Rajasthan Royals are so far in the box seat, but we've got some hard work to do. The game against Mumbai is going to be the biggest of the tournament for us", Moody said as Punjab underwent a light training session at the Wankhede stadium.
Mumbai became the first team in the tournament to notch six straight wins, a streak Punjab themselves were close to achieving when they strung together five in a row. Moody said his conversations with his team focused on the aspect of building on each victory. "I was telling the boys we need to focus on winning every game because momentum is very important."
Despite having beaten Mumbai by a comprehensive 66-run margin, Moody warned against complacency, saying his new-ball bowlers will once again play a crucial role in warding the batsmen away.
"Their (Sreesanth and Pathan) performance has been crucial as they've taken wickets up front, used the new ball well and come back at the end," he said. "It is said to be a batsmen's game but bowlers have bounced back really well after initial beating they got which has made Twenty20 more interesting."
Sanath Jayasuriya, currently the fourth-highest run-getter, remains the biggest threat but Moody spoke of the plans they have for him and Sachin Tendulkar. "We are very much aware of Jayasuriya's strengths and weaknesses. We know where to bowl to him but it's about execution. We are happy that we bowled against him at Mohali [where Jayasuriya was caught and bowled by Brett Lee for 1] and hope to do the same here as well."
As for Tendulkar Moody said the presence of some of his India team-mates who "know his strengths at least" will prove to be crucial as that knowledge which could be used in making plans.