Pride at stake for Kings XI

Pride at stake for Kings XI

Mumbai Indians seek return to winning ways

Pride at stake for Kings XI

Mumbai Indians will be desperately hoping that skipper Tendulkar is fit and raring to go. PTI

Such has been the plight of the Kings XI in the current version of the IPL that even their die-hard fans have stopped expecting much from the demoralised, underperforming unit.

Even victories in their remaining matches would not leave any chance for redemption as the team is already out of reckoning for the semifinal berth after suffering eight defeats in ten matches.

The Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians will be hoping to recover from the temporary blip in form in their last match against Chennai Super Kings to clinch a semifinal berth by beating the Kings XI on Friday.

Mumbai’s opener Shikhar Dhawan was hopeful that Tendulkar would play Friday’s match after he suffered dehydration in the last match.

“Sachin has been a great captain and a great motivator for the team this season. We will like to keep winning games under his leadership,” said Dhawan, who has felt inspired by the master’s company at the other end during Mumbai’s several brisk opening stands this season.

The team has no worries with both batsmen and bowlers in fine form. Tendulkar has himself led the way by contributing handsomely in virtually every match.

Domestic players like Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu and Sourabh Tewari have been perfect allies for Tendulkar in the batting line-up while the bowling led by Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh has proved a handful for the opposition batsmen.

On the other hand, Kumar Sangakkara will have a difficult task to lift the Punjab team out of the morass of demoralising defeats.

Plagued by injuries, bad form of leading players and controversies, the Punjab team which presents a picture of solidity on paper has looked the most fragile on the field.
To complement the bad form of their key batsmen Sangakkara, Yuvraj Singh and Mahela Jayawardene, their bowling and fielding has been miserable.

S Sreesanth landed himself in trouble in the last match by inviting a heavy fine for showing dissent against the umpire’s decision. He has bowled the highest number of no-balls too in the IPL so far.

Brett Lee has been so out of sorts that he does not make it to the final eleven after going wicketless in the two games he played.

In their current state, it will require a Herculean effort by the  Kings XI pulls to upset the well-oiled unit of Mumbai Indians on Friday.