'Mumbai Indians will go far in IPL'

Former South Africa allrounder Shaun Pollock says the Mumbai squad he is a part of would go far in the first Indian Premier League event.

updated: January 19, 2009 18:46 IST
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Former South African captain Shaun Pollock has put his money on India against the country of his birth when the two teams lock horns in the third and deciding cricket Test commencing in Kanpur on Friday.

"The Kanpur wicket (at Green Park) will be very flat and Indians would have the upper hand," said the 34-year-old all rounder, who is all set to play for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, from Durban during a teleconference on Thursday.

Pollock, among a handful of players to have achieved the rare double of 3000 runs and 300 wickets in Test cricket, praised the South African team for having done well so far in the series in which they lead 1-0 going into the deciding clash.

"They have played fantastic cricket and I don't think they should do anything different from what they have been doing so far at Kanpur," said the player who represented his country in 108 Tests and 303 ODIs before retiring in February.

Pollock described young pacer Dale Steyn, who has taken 12 wickets in the first two Tests and 75 from the last 11, as someone special, but not as his successor.

"I don't see him as my successor (in leading the attack). He's been a hot property in the South African team. He has done a great job but I don't see him as my successor," Pollock said about the pace bowler who is set to play for the Bangalore team in IPL.

Pollock said he was eager to play in the IPL for Mumbai Indians, which would be led by Sachin Tendulkar and mingling with players from all parts of the world.

"I am looking forward to the IPL. It's a new experience for me, mingling with players from different countries, as well as young local talent, see how they prepare for the matches," said Pollock, who captured 421 and 393 wickets in Tests and ODIs, besides 22 in 20 Twenty20 internationals.

The allrounder hoped that the Indian crowds, who back the home team and specifically Tendulkar, would lend their support to the Mumbai Indians squad owned by Reliance Industries.

"The Indian crowds are used to supporting the Indian team and Sachin. He's got lot of attention. And with him in the team (Mumbai Indians) we should have a lot of support from the crowd," he said.

Pollock said he planned to interact with Tendulkar once he reaches Mumbai. "I have not had the chance to talk to him. Once I reach India there's going to be at least a week before our first match to interact with him. I am not sure how his injury is going. Hopefully he should be able to play from the first match," he said.

Mumbai Indians are set to take on Bangalore Royal Challengers in their lung opener here on April 20. Pollock brushed aside concerns that the hot weather that would be prevalent in this country during the April 18-June 1 IPL will bother him.

"People are coming from New Zealand. We are used to such weather in South Africa," he pointed out.

Pollock maintained that though Twenty20 cricket was entertaining, Test cricket would always remain on top. "The true test (for a player) will always be Test cricket," he added.

Pollock predicted that his team would go far in the IPL because of the quality players it possessed.

"We have a very good team and everyone is confident. But in such a short game (T20) anything can happen. I am looking forward to it and am sure we will go far," he said.

Pollock did not see many problems in players from different countries and states jelling as a team in the IPL.

"Cricket is very much an individual game and I don't think there would be a problem in the players integrating as a team," he felt.