Anil Kumble was on the mark, as usual, in his pre-match assessment at the D.Y. Patil stadium. The Royal Challengers captain, one of the most effective bowlers competing in the Indian Premier League, talked about enjoying the experience.
“I'm happy just playing the IPL and not looking at playing international cricket. For me international cricket is over,” he said, answering questions at a media briefing.
Qualifying for semifinals and forced to play away from home:
When we set out the goal was to get into the semifinals and we achieved that. We need to win two games from here to take the trophy. It's a bit disappointing we had to shift. It is not in our control. As players we have to play the game.
The home crowd would have been great for us. The entire Bangalore crowd and supporters of Royal Challengers would be rooting for us tomorrow.
On prior experience of winning a semifinal:
We have played a semifinal before. That's probably the experience I would like to carry forward. It's nice to be in this situation where you are in the semifinals of a big tournament. It's not easy when the tournament is played over six weeks and to be consistent for over six weeks and to qualify. As an experienced group we are aware of the responsibility and pressures in a semifinals situation.
On RCB run-up to the semifinals:
We know we had to win at least seven (to qualify). Not easy to do that over a period of six weeks. May be you have to be a bit circumspect. For us, we have to go out there and ensure we play well throughout the 40 overs. It's a fresh tournament from here on.
On Mumbai Indians:
Mumbai Indians probably did not expect to play the semifinals here. In that sense the pressure is probably on them. It's a must-win situation for all. We would like to take the confidence of our first game against Mumbai in Mumbai (Brabourne stadium) and also the experience of having played in the semifinals before in the IPL.
On RCB's semifinal outlook:
We would like to concentrate on what skills we can execute and how well we can execute our skills, rather than worry about what happened in the previous game or how Mumbai came into the semifinals. We would like to concentrate on matters within our control, trying to do the things to the best of our ability.
On Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar is a big player whether he's playing for India, Mumbai or Mumbai Indians. Hopefully we would be able to get him out cheaply. We have seen right through the tournament his ability not just as a captain but also as a player.
We are aware of that but like I said it's important to execute the plans and ensure we are on top for 40 overs rather than just one part of it. So we would like to concentrate on the team rather than one particular individual.
On the D.Y. Patil stadium wicket:
This is a fresh track, only two games have been played here and the semifinals is the third. In that sense it will be a fresh track. I'm sure it will be a good sporting wicket.
Looking at the pitch it certainly looks a good wicket. For bowlers who can bend their back there's a bit in it. For batsmen it will come on nicely as well.
On bowling in T20 cricket:
You only can bowl four overs of any particular bowler. That's the nature of the game. You have to go with the game, like I said gut feeling. I felt that the third over of spin we will probably get us a wicket against Deccan Chargers, it did not happen but you have to go with your gut feeling.
Some days you have to probably bowl your best bowler and finish his spell off because he's doing well at that particular point. As an unit you need to fire as well.
On match-fixing allegations in IPL:
I can't answer much. What concerns me is what happens on the pitch. As cricketers our role is to ensure that we play to our potential and play good cricket.