first_imgMeanwhile, Simmons replacement, New Zealander Martin Meanwhile, Simmons replacement, New Zealander Martin Guptill, has reached here and he did practice today with the squad but is unlikely to make it to the playing eleven tomorrow. Ahmedabad-born Patel, who made 23 in the previous game against Kolkata, backed the teams think tanks move to promote all-rounder Hardik Pandya to bat at number three followed by Mitchell McClenaghan. “Hes (Pandya) a quality player. He got lot of runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy here batting at number three. Him batting at number three gives a very good balance. It gives (Ambati) Rayudu, (Kieron) Pollard and (Jos) Buttler a nice place to bat on,” said Patel. On the promotion of McClenaghan ahead of Buttler and Pollard against KKR two days ago, Patel said, “Both of them (captain Rohit and coach Ricky Ponting) decided to send McClenaghan at number four. He played a crucial role. Usually when a wicket falls, the momentum shifts a bit but I thought he came and played a brilliant 20 runs.” Praising the coaching style of Ponting, Patel said it was his calm demeanour which played a major role in MIs turn of fortunes after losing four straight games at the beginning of last season and go on to clinch the title for the second time. “Ricky is brilliant. He gives us the space and he gives confidence. His positive energy is very good. Win or lose he makes sure the atmosphere remains good and thats the reason we could stage the comeback last year. “I dont think losing the first game (on April 9 here against Pune) made any difference. We started afresh (against KKR) and thats the way the Australian team played under him. I know how he plays and thats what he tries to rub on the players,” Patel said. PTI SSR PDS PDSadvertisementlast_img

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