Abu Dhabi, September 23: Defending champions Mumbai Indians might have lost their previous game against Chennai Super Kings, but skipper Rohit Sharma who may return to field against Kolkata Knight Riders, said it's important for the team to turn up and do the job when they take on the Knight Riders in their IPL 2021 encounter at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (September 23).
"It's important that we turn up and do the job!" Rohit said in a video posted on MI's twitter handle, indicating that he might just return to the side for the match against KKR.
"I honestly don't believe in past records, T20 is a game on that particular day. What happens it's a game of that you have to be best on that day. They are a good opposition (Kolkata Knight Riders) and they play cricket very well as a team, and they will obviously be coming off from some confidence after their last win so it's not going to be cakewalk for us."
"I know that we had a very handy record against them, but it's important that we turn up really well on that particular day, and do the job. When you are chasing a score like 157 you need to build those small partnerships, and make sure you keep yourself in the game as long as possible."
Commenting on the impressive show by pacer Adam Milne in his first game, the captain said: "Adam Milne, especially is coming from a very good tournament in UK. He is a good bowler, bowls really fast and it's all about, you know, getting that confidence and he got that confidence in the first game.
So, I just hope that he builds on it. We just have to come back and come back really strong and tick those small boxes, and I think if you look at the potential in this squad. We have got all bases covered."
Rohit missed the opening game as the team management felt it was important to give him some more recovery time after he injured himself during the Test series in England.
MI couldn't capitalise on the good start they got against CSK and ultimately lost the game by 20 runs as MS Dhoni's boys made a remarkable comeback after a poor start.
Earlier MI pacer Trent Boult said resting Rohit for the first match was a well-thought out move.
He said the aim of the franchise remains that skipper Rohit remains fit looking at the amount of cricket coming up. Mumbai had suffered a defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday and the Rohit-led outfit is at the fourth spot with eight points from eight games.
"Every game is such a big game, every match is important now. But history is history, it is nice to have good results in our bag against KKR. They are a quality side. We would not take them lightly.
"Varun Chakravarthy is a quality bowler, I hope I do not face him being a number eleven, yeah I think more importantly it is about batting unit of Mumbai putting a good performance and stack up scores," said Boult during a pre-match press conference.
When asked about fitness update on Rohit and Hardik Pandya, Boult said: "They are both recovering well, in terms of their selection for the next game, I am not too sure. It was a bit of a precautionary move to rest them."
But the KKR too are waiting for the champions with a lot of confidence, said opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer.
Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Venkatesh said there is no extra pressure when batting in front of head coach Brendon McCullum as the latter allows the players to be their natural self and play the brand of cricket that makes the boys comfortable.
'It is always good to see McCullum, and I am really excited to bat as he's gonna watch. There is no such pressure when he is right behind the nets. He is not a coach that puts a lot of pressure on us. He allows us to be what we are, and play the cricket that gives us maximum satisfaction. So, I think that's good for players like us," Iyer said in a video posted by KKR on its twitter handle.
Asked if batsmen tend to play an aggressive brand of cricket in front of someone like McCullum, Iyer said: "Not like that, see the best quality about someone aggressive is he knows how to handle situations and players. So, I guess, he just lets us be ourselves and that's gonna work."
The youngster took the second half of the IPL by storm when he hit an unbeaten 41 off just 27 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore in KKR's previous game. Skipper Eoin Morgan was mighty impressed by the young batsman's approach.
"Venkatesh Iyer, the way he came in and played was outstanding. Certainly, the brand of cricket we want to play. Playing under head coach Brendon McCullum, this is the aggressive nature of cricket we want to play.
''Although he was aggressive, he managed to control his innings. His opening partnership with Shubman Gill was beautiful to watch," said Morgan during a virtual post-match press conference.