Peterson Speaks on Mumbai Indians

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Highveld Lions captain Alviro Petersen has said the favourites tag will weigh heavily on the star-studded Mumbai Indians when they take on his low-profile side in the opening game of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament on Friday in Johannesburg.
"I think all the pressure is on the Mumbai Indians, they are one of the clear favourites," Petersen said. "And I like it that way, we can just play our natural game, and I like it when people write us off. As a team we don't have many big names and on paper we're one of the weakest sides, but you don't play cricket on paper.

"No one's expecting anything from us and we showed in last year's Pro20 domestic tournament that all that matters is what we do on the day and what we do as a team," he said. The Lions finished runners-up in South Africa's domestic Twenty20 competition last year.

The Lions have tried out various combinations in the lead-up to the tournament, and have a flexible batting line-up which can be changed according to the match situation. "There are guys who can be used in different positions," Petersen said. "For example, Neil McKenzie has opened the batting for us, but played in the middle-order for Hampshire and did very well there. I myself am normally an opener, but I played in the middle-order for the Lions last season."

Lions coach Dave Nosworthy was also optimistic ahead of the opening game and said that though his team lacked the star players that Mumbai possessed, they would not be lacking motivation. "A big match in front of 30,000 spectators at the Bull Ring is enough to get anyone's adrenalin pumping," Nosworthy said, "and they will all be wanting to perform well on the international stage.

"We don't have the big stars like a Sachin Tendulkar or a Kieron Pollard or a Dwayne Bravo," he said. "Alviro and Neil McKenzie both have Test cricket experience, and Vaughn van Jaarsveld has had a taste of international cricket, but the players all know what they are supposed to do, and in a T20 match, anyone can step forward and take the game away from the opposition."

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