Dwayne Smith, who made a match-winning 45-ball 62 with three fours and five sixes against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday, said he’s not afraid of bowling to in-form batsman Chris Gayle.

When asked if he would like to bowl with the new ball to the Jamaican left hander on Friday evening, Smith said: “Its cricket. I am not afraid of him (Gayle).

“It takes one ball to get a batsman out. It’s just a case of pitching the ball in the right area. It’s for him to stay long and score runs.’’

Smith also said that there’s no pressure on him having replaced Ricky Ponting as an opener. “I don’t think there is pressure firstly. I came here to open the batting for the Mumbai Indians. It’s just for me to go out there and perform for the team.

“It’s the best position to bat in a Twenty20 game. I have got a start now and I have to continue it and be consistent.”

The MI practiced at the Wankhede Stadium under the lights with Ponting initially giving the impression that he may not be in the line up for Saturday’s match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

But after helping out some batsmen with thrown downs, he padded up and practiced a few hits against the seamers and spinners. This was after Sachin Tendulkar hurt his hand facing James Franklin in the nets.

“I should be fine tomorrow,’’ Tendulkar text messaged when asked about the severity of the injury.

RCB’s second highest wicket taker in the Pepsi-IPL VI, Rudra Pratap Singh said that the pitch at the Wankhede supports the bowlers. “Bounce is better here. Generally I try to swing the new ball and do variations with the old.

“I try to bowl at the right areas. Our team is fully focused. We are in a comfortable position, but still a long way to go.

“If we get a success rate of just over 50 per cent in these remaining eight games we would be in a good position (to qualify for the play-offs).’’

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