"It's an advantage obviously. He is a world class player and has shown what he can do. He was an integral part of Sunrisers Hyderabad. As an opponent, we feel good about it, that he's not there," Pollard said on the eve of the match.
"One less guy who has been in form to deal with. Having said that, I'm sure they have in their armoury lot of world class talent to back it up. Guptill has done fantastically in the international scene. Yes they've lost Warner but we won't be taking them lightly. They're a great bunch of guys who have been playing good and consistent cricket, our processes are going to be the same. Hopefully the result is in our favour."
One of the reasons for Mumbai's success this season has been their power hitting, led by Hardik Pandya with a couple of useful knocks from Pollard himself. The West Indian said Hardik's form is a good sign not just for Mumbai Indians, but for the Indian team as well.
"He's not really practising differently. It's just about believing in his ability," explained Pollard. "The situations he has been in, he's had no choice but to hit and he's showing his power game. That's good for him. When he came in for Mumbai, he finished off a couple of games with his big hits. He's small guy but he has gone a long way.
"Once he continues to practise and evolve, I can see him doing great things not just for Mumbai Indians but for Indian cricket as well. It's just a matter of him having that confidence, and you giving him that confidence for him to believe in himself. He's one of those guys who is free spirited and just go out and use his youthful exuberance to have an impact on the game."
Hardik comes into the match against Hyderabad on the back of a stunning 34-ball 91 against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, although it went in vain. Hardik's form has led to calls for a promotion in the batting order, but Pollard indicated that Mumbai are unlikely to change their formula.
"All those things are debatable. When you look at our team on a whole, there is good balance," Pollard said. "If you look at the run scoring charts, none of our guys are in the top five. In terms of wickets, we're there and thereabouts. It shows that we're playing as a team. Guys are standing up in whatever situtions they are in.
"You don't want to tinker with too many things at this point of time. We have a good formula going. We have a formidable middle order. If we lose a couple of wickets, we have guys to soak in the pressure. We have guys in back end to hit balls. We don't want to complicate it. We would just got through our process, what's important is the two points, not the batting order."
Mumbai are currently on 14 points with two games to go, and need just one more win to confirm their berth in the final four. Pollard said the side wouldn't be thinking too far ahead.
"The nature of the tournament is that we all know it's a pressure game. The nature of cricket on the whole is pressure. The nature of IPL on the whole is pressure, so you don't want to put additional pressure. You just have to be calm and prepare mentally and physically. Nothing has changed in our camp. Guys are calm and looking forward to the game. It's the business end of the tournament," he said.
First Published: May 1, 2019, 7:08 PM IST