Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said the betting and match-fixing allegations would put more pressure on his side but added that he was confident of rising to the challenge.
Both captains skipped the customary media briefing ahead of the final while the teams preferred to stay back in the hotel owing to a spell of shower that ended any chances of training at the venue (Eden Gardens).
The two New Zealanders — Fleming and Mumbai Indians coach John Wright — aired their views ahead of the summit clash. Super Kings opener Michael Hussey was also present on the occasion.
“We are just trying to focus on the game. There can be distraction with a lot of stuff going around. We just have to focus on our job and roles in our team and give our best performance. If we do that, it will give us a good chance to win,” said Hussey.
“We don’t need any more motivation. Playing in the final is motivation enough.
“The boys are excited to be here and are ready to put all the controversies behind and express themselves,” added the Australian.
Fleming said Super Kings’ persistence has resulted in the side retaining most of its players for many seasons.
“We had a strategy right from the outset that we were going to be loyal to the players. What we built over that period is relationships and a team of players who understand themselves. I think it has shown benefits in tough times,” said Fleming.
Wright said Sachin Tendulkar was likely to miss the final as he is yet to recover from injury. “Sachin is probably doubtful for Sunday but we will take a final call before the game,” said Wright.
“Sachin is still a big part of our team, whether he is playing or not. We are happy to have him. He has done a great job,” he added.
Pat for Rohit
Wright said skipper Rohit Sharma has done an outstanding job. “It was a great challenge and we are very pleased with the way he has performed,” the MI coach said.
“One of the hardest things in the IPL is picking the team. Ricky (Ponting) is not being part of it, but there are others like him. For everyone who misses out, it is really frustrating. Sunday is a big day for all of us. The players will have support from the Mumbai fans all over the world,” said Wright.