Mumbai: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) is the only team to have beaten the high-flying Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), and its head coach Stephen Fleming considers that victory to be a confidence-booster.
He, however, said Monday's return game in Mumbai will be a tough one.
"Well, that means that they are due for a loss isn't it? That is the positive way of looking at it. The IPL is about confidence and they have been in some tricky situations, even the score last night, 142 (against Delhi Daredevils) you would say is below par, but they have been able to rise up," said Fleming when asked about MI's six-match winning streak after losing against his side in the lung-opener on 5 April.
"(Mitchell) McClenaghan was excellent. (Kieron) Pollard was very good against RCB which was probably a game that they should have lost. They have just found a way to get things done and that is probably a sign of a good side. Someone stands up when the team is in trouble.
"They will be full of confidence which will be difficult for us. We have experience of beating them and if that is a positive we will take from it. Again playing here in their stadium, it is a great occasion but it is a tough task," said Fleming.
He agreed with the suggestion that Saturday's last-gasp win over Sunrisers Hyderabad was crucial from the standings' point of view.
"Yes, it was. It was very important to go from last to fourth. It's a good jump to have. Two games (victories) in a row doesn't constitute big momentum, but any win you have is important. A side like ours needed some confidence," he said.
"But if you can beat teams that are ahead of you, and Mumbai is one of those, then it does affect the table. The game against Sunrisers was good. If we can beat MI or Kolkata we can stay in that top zone."
When pointed out the struggle MI skipper Rohit Sharma has been facing against leg-spin, Fleming said they cannot plan keeping only one rival batsman in mind.
"We have got three leggies — (Adam) Zampa, (Imran) Tahir and Rahul Chahar and we have got a selection option, but we must be careful that we don't pick a team just for one player. If you have any chance to get Rohit Sharma out cheaply, you will certainly look at it as that is one of the keys to the Mumbai side," he said.
Asked about Ajinkya Rahane's poor run so far, Fleming said: "He played well against Mumbai with the extra pace on the ball. I think maybe he is too eager to do well. What he does when he is batting normally is good enough.
"All opening batsmen have that anxiety to get underway. So quite simply, be calm and natural, and play like he can. That's going to be his challenge in one-day cricket.