Rohit looking to play without fear

India

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma is looking to take on the play-off stage of the IPL with renewed vigour, saying the side will play without fear, given they have two chances to reach the final.

Having finished in second place, Mumbai can lose their first qualifier against Chennai and still have another crack at reaching the final, in the second qualifier against whoever wins the eliminator.

Rohit told the IPL website: "Finishing in the top two obviously gives us a chance to play fearlessly. I feel we have played good games till now but the play-offs will be a different ball game.

"You can't afford to make too many mistakes but knowing you have a second chance it gives us the license to play fearless cricket.

"We have been in this situation before in 2013 where we played against the same opposition, qualified in the top two and we had another chance.

"We want to go out there and play without thinking about the result. We won't think about who we are playing, we will be focusing on our strengths."

Considering Mumbai lost five of their first six matches, their turn-around was near-miraculous, and Rohit was pleased with the way the players and staff stuck together and fought back. He now sees the play offs as a new tournament.

He added: "When we were losing at the start of the tournament, we were not playing to our potential. We always knew we had a lot of talent and ability in the dressing room and it was all about getting that game to the fore.

"The support staff has helped a lot in holding the team together. Sometimes when you lose, the guys in the team tend to drift away a little bit but the support staff did a fabulous job of holding everyone together.

"I am lucky to have guys like those who are willing to change the course of the game at any given point of time, whether with the bat or ball. I am really happy with the way we stand right now but nothing is over yet.

"For us, we have finished one tournament and enter into a fresh tournament now. If we play to our potential this is what we can do."

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