Royal Challengers Bangalore’s former skipper Daniel Vettori of New Zealand said the opening match against Mumbai Indians will give them a chance to assess where the team stands and what should be their plan of action as the tournament unfolds. “Mumbai Indians have got strength, all up and down the line-up. It is a great opening game for us. It will give us a real test of where we are early on and we can assess how we can go in this competition depending on how we perform against the Mumbai outfit,” said Vettori.
Vettori was full of praise for new captain Virat Kohli and said that the Indian batsman is incredibly committed. “This is an outstanding quality to be a leader. He gives everything and a lot of guys follow that. It is a natural transition. I think he is going to do a great job,” he said. The New Zealand spinner said his role would now be to play as a senior member and contribute to the team's success. “Hopefully, the senior guys like me, AB (de Villiers) and Chris Gayle can support him (Kohli),” said Vettori.
Asked about the condition of his Kiwi teammate Jesse Ryder, Vettori said that he was improving every day and hoped to take to the field soon. “Everyone knows Jesse. Everyone wants to see him there. Best wishes to him,” said Vettori.
‘Delighted to play alongside Sachin’
Vettori’s Mumbai counterpart Ricky Ponting just cannot wait for his clash against Bangalore. Having retired from international cricket, Ponting, the ‘Punter’ is now putting everything he can into the IPL.
“As I said , it’s exciting to be back in the IPL. My focus will be to make sure that I lead the Mumbai Indians well for the next two months. We are not thinking of winning it, we will take it game by game,” added Ponting.
“Playing alongside Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh is great. I think the biggest challenge so far has been getting the squad together. I think a build up to any series is always a lot of fun,” Ponting added.
Of the eleven foreign signings, six are Australians. Asked how many would make the playing eleven, Ponting said, “Yeah, I should be playing and probably Glenn Maxwell.”