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Mumbai Indians hope for rub of IPL green
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Mumbai: This has been a memorable year for Mumbai in domestic cricket. They won a record 38th Ranji Trophy crown. But as the IPL approaches, the Mumbai Indians are hoping to add another glorious chapter to their history by turning last year's disappointing result on its head.

There is a buzz in the Mumbai Indians camp: a new coach in former India batsman Praveen Amre, who has been very successful with the Mumbai Ranji team, taking them to two titles in the last three years.

"When you work with Mumbai (Ranji team) you're the only decision maker," Amre says. "But here you have to work as a unit and adjust yourself to see that the franchise is going there and winning."

Amre will join Shaun Pollock, who has given up his playing gear for a role as mentor to the team, and Jonty Rhodes, who has been roped in as fielding coach. Ten young Mumbai Indians players have already been to Durban and trained with Pollock and Rhodes.

"As far as we saw, the pitches were pretty good, there was some good bounce and pretty good for batting," said Abhishek Nayar. "It was good for cricket: bowlers had some nip in it, the batsmen could time the ball as well."

The Mumbai Indians endured more near misses than hits last year. The players in particular remember close losses to Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals - defeats that cost them a semi-final place.

"The one-run loss to Kings XI Punjab last year is still fresh in my mind," says Ajinkya Rahane. "But close games are bound to be played in Twenty20 cricket. Fewer mistakes will give us a better chance."

So even as their key players Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh prepare for a final go at the Kiwis, the first batch of Mumbai Indians will leave for Durban in a couple of days.

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