Mumbai bank on batting might

Mumbai bank on batting might

Mumbai Indians’ Harbhajan Singh (left), Dilhara Fernando (centre) and Lasith Malinga during a practice session in Mumbai. PTI

Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians started off their campaign in great style by winning their opening two ties, but came a cropper at the Brabourne stadium on Saturday against a highly-disciplined effort by Anil Kumble’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Sourav Ganguly’s KKR too began by fashioning upset an away victory against defending champions Deccan Chargers and beating runners-up RCB at home before losing the next two ties.

These two charismatic captains will be anxious to rediscover the magic potion for their teams to end the losing streak before it spoils their campaign.
The worrying factor for the hosts has been their bowling attack.

Mumbai Indians were almost tripped in their opening game by Rajasthan Royals when Yusuf Pathan tore apart their attack with his audacious shots after they had run up a huge score of 212 for seven.

After a brilliant batting and bowling display in the next match away against Delhi Daredevils, the team collectively failed against RCB and will need to pull up their socks if they don’t want to lose two matches in a row.

There are two issues confronting the hosts, the poor form of veteran Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya, who has not crossed 30 thus far, and the injury sustained by key middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu on Saturday.

Rayudu fell on his elbow while trying to catch Jacques Kallis and needs to undergo an x-ray to show the extent of the damage sustained, said team coach Robin Singh after the match.

The Mumbai Indians top-order failed to get going against RCB and the steep slump from 71 for two to 76 for six in 10 deliveries undid them, Robin conceded.

The team’s fielding and bowling was also below par and skipper Tendulkar was seething with anger at this indifferent approach when RCB’s batting was in progress.
In comparison, KKR’s woes are mostly on the batting front as their bowlers have not allowed the opposition to cross 170 in any of their four ties.

The bowlers restricted Deccan Chargers to 150 to ensure their modest total of 161 was enough to force an 11-run win and then restricted the strong RCB line-up to 135 for seven to give KKR’s campaign a flying start.

But the batting has been largely inconsistent with Manoj Tiwary flopping after a superb display in the opening match and Brad Hodge not really going on to play a big anchoring innings.

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