CHENNAI: MIND-GAMES have already begun as defending champions Albert Patriots Patriots clash with Chepauk Super Chepauk in the final of the second edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday. Patriots have won all the games in this edition, while Chepauk have fought their way to the final after losing the first qualifier.
Chepauk coach Hemang Badani feels that his team is better prepared and the pressure is on Patriots, as the law of averages may catch up with them. “They are the defending champions and have stayed undefeated in the tournament. In T20s, one never knows. It all depends upon how well you play. We will go all out and exploit the unpredictability factor.” On the other hand, Patriots coach JR Madanagopal says that his team has no worries whatsoever.
“There is absolutely no pressure. We are taking the final as just another game,” said Madanagopal. But Patriots skipper Dinesh Karthik says that he does not want to be drawn into mind games. “I do not want to think on those lines (the winning streak) and add more pressure. As such, we had a bit of pressure in the last few games. We need to go into the final with an open mind. “But yes, we have shown some good skilllevels in the tournament. It is not as easy as people think.
We have had some tough games like Chepauk. The good thing is that we have come out victorious. It looks good to be unbeaten, but the fact is that we have played some good cricket all along.” Madanagopal opines that bench strength has been a factor behind his team’s success. “It is our team’s plus-point. When Dinesh and Abhinav (Mukund) were not available, youngsters stepped in and produced good outings.”