Parthiv Patel, captaining Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the absence of Mahela Jayawardane, admitted that the side will be playing for little more than pride when it takes on CSK in its final league match on Wednesday.
“We still have (tiny) chance, but yes, it is very slim. We want to finish on a high,” said the former CSK player, in the pre-match press conference.
While KTK may well be out of contention by the time the match ends on Wednesday, Patel chose to concentrate on the positives.
“Six wins for a franchisee (so far) in its first year without too many big names is not bad,” said Patel, admitting that the outcome could have been different had the side played more consistently. “We have played some very good cricket but we have played some very poor cricket as well.”The stand-in skipper hinted that spin-wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, who has bowled just 7.5 overs for his new franchise, might get a look-in for the match.
“The wicket has always turned and we need an extra spinner for sure. Jayawardane's absence means we will have to make a few changes,” said the southpaw.
CSK coach Stephen Fleming said that the team standing on the cusp of an all-win record at home would not put any pressure on the side.
“We have worked very hard to win at home and it has really been the state of the competition that has driven us. Winning at home is a bit of a bonus and hopefully we can finish without a loss here,” said Fleming.
The Kiwi also said that CSK would be keyed up for the encounter in an attempt to finish second or above in the league.
“We have thought about it (finishing either first or second) and any team that has not, has obviously not been thinking too far ahead. We want to get a perfect run to the final, which is here (in Chennai). It is about positioning yourself well for the final and not riding your luck,” he concluded.