John Wright concedes that Mumbai Indians “plays it hard” but “respects the opposition”.

As coach, he has to ensure that the team plays good cricket and takes it “one game at a time.”

The affable Wright, with a demeanour matching his composure from his playing days, can’t conceal his admiration for Sachin Tendulkar. The two played against each other in the 1990 Test series in New Zealand.

On the opening pair of Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, he said: “What they bring to the team is huge. It is early days in the competition. We know their class and they are a big part of us. One or two dominant partnerships can change the game.”

On the Sreesanth-Harbhajan Singh controversy, Wright said: “There are always competitive games. People write about us as a big team, and a lot of people enjoy beating us. So, every game has an edge and we like that.

“Personally, as a coach, I have always encouraged passionate cricket. Let’s see. It is good to have an edge.”

Wright advocated restraint among the players when it came to on-field behaviour.

“Everyone wants to win, and with so much scrutiny, you have to be mindful of your behaviour.

“There are so many people watching you, especially youngsters. They have responsibility there.”

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