IPL 2022: Mumbai Indians want to finish this tournament on a bit of a roll, says Daniel Sams

Mumbai, May 8 (IANS) Five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians may not be in the race for a playoff spot in IPL 2022. But left-arm pace all-rounder Daniel Sams, who starred with defending nine runs in the final over against Gujarat Titans to give his team a five-run win, stated that Mumbai were keen to finish their run in the tournament on a high.

“Obviously we’re not going to be able to make the playoffs, but how we set up the rest of the tournament for us is, we’ve got a little mini IPL. So the last six games – we’ve played two of them already – we’re just kind of judging ourselves on that. Yes, this year we can’t make the playoffs but we can still build on a lot of things for the coming season,” said Sams in the pre-match virtual press conference ahead of the match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the DY Patil Stadium on Monday.

“So every game, regardless of whether it’s an important game, whether it’s the final, whether it’s the first round of the tournament – for us as players, they’re just as important. I think that’s the really important thing, not to have more value on one game or another, because then it makes you prepare the same, the same routines.”

“Motivation for the guys is we want to win the rest of our games. That’s actually what’s motivating us. We want to finish this IPL on a bit of a roll. We see our team as a really good team, and we want to prove that over the next coming days,” added Sams.

Monday’s match against Kolkata will also mark Sams facing up against the two-time IPL Champions for the first time since he was taken to cleaners by Pat Cummins for a record 14-ball half-century and even conceded 35 runs in an over. It helped that Sams got the support of Mumbai’s think tank, head coach Mahela Jayawardene, bowling coach Shane Bond and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah to correct his bowling plans.

“If I’m being completely honest, it was really, really challenging. You definitely start to have doubts. It took me a little bit to kind of move from doubting myself and worrying about all that, to be able to move on and think, ‘What can I learn from this?’ Basically everyone here has been amazing. I’ve had great conversations in regards to, looking at what I’ve done in the past, what I’ve been able to achieve,” recalled Sams.

After that match, Sams sat out till he was recalled for the match against Chennai Super Kings, where he took 4/30. The change in going back to his strengths as a bowler has brought out the best out of Sams since being brought back into the playing eleven in IPL 2022.

“Instead of thinking about ‘oh you got hit for however many in this over’, let’s think, ‘Okay why did it happen? Look at the footage, what did you bowl?’ That’s where it came about that I wasn’t quite bowling to my strengths. I was bowling my slower balls but I was bowling up rather than into the pitch.”

“Through the conversations with, there was MJ (Mahela), Bondy (Bond), Jasprit and a few others, that I was able to realise why those things were happening and then rectify them in training. Work on a couple of things and then be able to stay calm, stay focussed.”