Eager Mumbai set sights on Chargers

Eager Mumbai set sights on Chargers

After the humiliating 76-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab at Mohali, Sachin Tendulkar-led MI would be eager to get their act together and return to winning ways.

It was a reminder of how fickle the T20 format could be for star-studded Mumbai, who were shot out for a mere 87 in less than 13 overs chasing Punjab’s 163. The strong batting line-up, led by Tendulkar, surprisingly came a cropper against Praveen Kumar’s swing and the unheralded Bhargav Bhatt’s left-arm spin.

MI have 16 points, the same as Chennai Super Kings, but a better net run-rate has pushed the defending champions to the top spot after the victory over Delhi Daredevils.

However, Mumbai have one more match in hand and if they win their last three games, including two at home, they would finish on top of the heap. The return to the Wankhede track, offering bounce, would be welcomed by the free-stroking Mumbai batting line-up of which only four reached double figures in the rout by Punjab.

It was the second time this season Mumbai could not manage to go past 100-run mark, which shows that their strong batting line-up can be brought to its knees. But in home conditions, they have excelled with Tendulkar leading the way. The champion batsman has 371 runs from 11 games and is fifth in the run-getters’ list.Ambati Rayudu (362 runs) and Rohit Sharma (287) have been very impressive with the bat and ideal foils to Tendulkar, but overseas players Kieron Pollard (78 runs from 11 games) and Andrew Symonds (127 from 9) have been huge let-downs.

In some of the matches, the two big-hitters have not had the opportunity to deliver the goods but in the games they had the chance to play longer, they did not perform to potential which would worry the MI think-tank ahead of the play-offs.

Tendulkar also lacks an effective opening partner unlike the previous seasons. Davy Jacobs, who looked to be settling down, picked up a finger injury and his replacement Aiden Blizzard too has not been firing consistently.

The bowling has been spot-on for the most part with Lasith Malinga, with a superb haul of 26 wickets and an economy rate under six, being the kingpin. Malinga has been well supported by Munaf Patel, who picked up a five-wicket haul against Punjab and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (12).

While Bharath Chipli and Sunny Sohal impressed initially but went off the boil quickly, foreign recruits JP Duminy, Cameron White and Dan Christian have not showed yet they were worth the amounts paid for at the auctions.

Teams (from):

Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (capt), Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, T Suman, Munaf Patel, Aiden Blizzard, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Andrew Symonds, James Franklin, Dilhara Fernando, Ray Price, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Aditya Tare, Ali Murtaza, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pawan Suyal, R Satish, Sarul Kanwar, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Singh Chahai.

Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Bharath Chipli, JP Duminy, Dan Christian, DB Ravi Teja, Harmeet Singh, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Sunny Sohal, Cameron White, Rusty Theron, Manpreet Ghony, Ishant Jaggi, Michael Lumb, Ankit Sharma, Anand Rajan, Akash Bhandari, Chris Lynn, Ishan Malhotra, Jaydev Shah, Arjun Yadav, Ashish Reddy.