Millennium Post

‘Conditions would decide who will open with Sachin’

MI are yet to decide on Sachin Tendulkar's opening partner for tomorrow's IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore with skipper Ricky Ponting saying that the decision would depend on conditions.

‘Anybody can open with Sachin depending upon the weather and pitch conditions. We could end up playing a shorter game as it has been raining here for the past two days, but not today, Keeping this in mind we will decide on the opening combination before the toss,’ he told reporters here at the pre-match press conference.

Ponting said in the last couple of seasons MI have tried a lot of opening combinations and they are hoping that the choice this season would bring in good results. Ponting said the team will surely miss Lasith Malinga on Thursday.

‘It is disappointing to miss him in the first game. Hope he will be okay after a couple of days. Malinga will join the team on April five in Mumbai,’ he said. On Malinga's replacement, Ponting said the team hasn't yet decided on the playing eleven. ‘We will take a call on it after taking into account weather and pitch conditions.’

Ponting said the team was not thinking of winning the IPL at this moment as it's a long tournament. ‘We are thinking of tomorrow's game. We cannot afford to look too far ahead. I am sure towards the end of the tournament, we will be right up there,’ he said.
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