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“Everything about Wankhede is fantastic and it has a different aura”- Kieron Pollard

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Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians batting coach Kieron Pollard was overjoyed about coming back to the Wankhede as the Mumbai Indians fortress again as the IPL returns to a home and away format after 3 seasons. He said just being at the stadium is a special feeling for everyone.

Mumbai Indians

Tilak Varma of Mumbai Indians during a practice match at the Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai on 27th March 2023.
Photo: Pal PILLAI /Focus Sports/ MI

“I keep telling the guys that if you have no form or confidence, you just get that by being at the Wankhede. Everything about Wankhede is fantastic and it just gives you that different aura. Hopefully we can show the fans what they have been missing in the last few years. Hopefully we can make them smile.”

MI lost their first match of the tournament against Royal Challengers Bangalore but Pollard felt that too much should not be read into one loss.

“The tournament has just started for us. So everyone is looking to start on a high. Yes, we didn’t get a great start as a batting unit. Let’s see what happens now that we are back home at the Wankhede.”

Pollard also said that Tilak Varma’s continued development was a big plus for MI. Varma had top scored for the team in their season opener, hitting 84*.

“Tilak is a fine young talent. He continues to show that he has to offer a lot to cricket. Long may that continue. We are lucky to have him and I hope he can continue his form. The most important thing is to prepare him to face the opposition each and every time.”

Pollard was MI’s finisher for most of the past decade and a half and he said that Tim David could also play that role for the team in the years to come.

“Tim is a very intelligent young man. He knows what he wants to do. He has gone around the world trying to get experience in different conditions. I know having batted in that position that it is not the easiest position to play in.”

Pollard backed Suryakumar Yadav to deliver and come good in IPL 2023. Pollard said that Suryakumar had been hitting the ball well in training and his form was definitely not a concern for Mumbai Indians.

“We have no concern on Surya’s form. I believe you guys sometimes make more of it than we do in a team set up. People have bad days as cricketers and it is unfortunate that our bad days get highlighted as cricketers rather than looking at what he has done in the past 18 months as an individual. The way he has been training and striking the ball, we have full confidence that he will do his talent justice.”

Mumbai Indians will play their first home game of the 2023 season against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, 8th April.

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