Delhi v Mumbai, IPL 2011, Delhi

Heavyweights look to live up to billing

The Preview by Nitin Sundar

April 9, 2011

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh share a few words, India v Australia, 7th ODI, Mumbai, October 17, 2007
These two men are now team-mates. It happens only in the IPL! © Getty Images
Sunday, April 10
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big picture

It's the clash between the two biggest cities in India, and arguably the biggest cricketing centres in the country. Given the deep pockets of their respective IPL franchises, and the compelling talent at their disposal, it is surprising that neither side has managed to win the IPL yet. Mumbai endured a forgettable first two seasons before sparking into life last year. Yet, they were pipped at the final hurdle by a Chennai side with better big-match temperament. Delhi muscled their way to the semi-finals in 2008 and 2009 before choking in the knockouts. Last year was even worse, as they stuttered at the end of the league stage and missed out on the semi-finals.

If anything, Delhi will find the going even tougher this year. The addition of two new franchises and the churn at the auctions have resulted in a massive drain of talent from their side. AB de Villiers, Daniel Vettori, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dirk Nannes and Paul Collingwood have all moved away - names big enough to form a new IPL team, may be the Delhi Exodus Eleven?

Yet, Delhi have managed to retain their biggest player. Virender Sehwag plays Test cricket at one-day pace and ODIs at Twenty20 pace. It leaves him in a quandary while playing the shortest form of the game - there's no higher gear left for him to find in Twenty20s, and he succumbs attempting outrageous shots. This year, he will want to temper his aggression, given that he has David Warner and Aaron Finch in his side, two of the most exciting Australian Twenty20 talents. Morne Morkel is an impressive addition to the bowling attack, but unless Irfan Pathan steps up, Delhi will struggle to contain good batting line-ups.

Mumbai once again look great on paper. They lost Zaheer Khan and Saurabh Tiwary in the auction, but have held on to their remaining game-breakers. In addition, they have pulled in Rohit Sharma, who walks on water every IPL season before inexplicably slipping into laziness for the rest of the year. Sachin Tendulkar, as always, holds the key, but all eyes will be on old buddies Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds. On the international stage, they could barely stand each other's presence, but the beauty of franchise cricket is that it has managed to bring them together and might even spark off an interesting friendship. Mumbai will hope Munaf Patel can plug at least a part of the Zaheer-shaped void in the side.

Team talk

Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga are automatic overseas picks for Mumbai, barring injury worries. Davy Jacobs and Dilhara Fernando will hope to take the other two spots, unless Mumbai choose to go the Kolkata way and go in with fewer than four foreign players. Aditya Tare is a specialist wicketkeeper, but Ambati Rayudu was preferred last year. Jacobs is also capable of doing the job behind the stumps.

Delhi's fate will hinge on how quickly Irfan Pathan can rediscover his swing. And on whether Ajit Agarkar can, at long last, find a way to bowl economically. Given the absence of big names, this could be their season for team efforts. Warner is expected to open, while Andrew McDonald and Morkel are shoo-ins for the starting XI. Naman Ojha may be pushed down the order, though he is likely to keep wicket if he plays.

In the spotlight

Davy Jacobs took over leadership of the floundering Warriors franchise, and turned things around with his inspiring presence, guiding them to the final of the 2010 Champions League. Though Mumbai did not play Warriors in that tournament, Tendulkar would have noted Jacobs' exploits at the top. Jacobs' batting technique is founded upon an ability to jump back deep in the crease and plunder anything marginally outside off stump, with a powerful uncocking of the wrists. Will Tendulkar nominate Jacobs as his opening partner?

The portly, bespectacled, gum-popping Aaron Finch was the other batting hero of the Champions League. He has the ability to pace an innings perfectly, and murder spinners when they err in length. R Ashwin found this out the hard way when Chennai lost to Victoria in a group game in the Champions League. Will Harbhajan Singh have better plans in place?

Prime numbers

  • Tendulkar was the only batsman to score more than 600 runs in IPL 2010. He hit more fours (86) than anyone else in the season but, interestingly, the least number of sixes (three) among the top 25 run-getters that season.

  • Despite having a subpar season, Sehwag led the run-charts for Delhi, with 356 runs, 14th in the over-all list. The inability of their batsmen to score big was one of Delhi's big problems last year.

  • With 17 wickets, Harbhajan was the joint-second highest wicket-taker last year. Amit Mishra also picked up 17 wickets, but he is not in the Delhi squad this time.

    The chatter

    "I am not of the opinion that this format is all about slogging from ball one. I have been doing all the hard work, and am sure things will be even better this time."
    Ambati Rayudu is confident of bettering the success he had in IPL 2010.

    "I'm bowling with the aim to achieve the fitness levels that I had before and more. I bowl 5-7 overs daily at a stretch and am feeling really good about myself right now."
    Irfan Pathan gears up for a comeback.

  • Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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    © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 9:49 GMT)

    @ andystat..

    Watch it on Its the official channel partner of IPL in UK and has HQ live streaming..

    Posted by mjroyal on (April 10, 2011, 9:43 GMT)

    5 Yadavs iin both teamms !!

    Posted by itsmesujith on (April 10, 2011, 9:36 GMT)

    if sachin scores 100,it will be considered as 100th 100 or not?

    Posted by Mali-T658 on (April 10, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

    How on the earth could Delhi lose De Villiers!? They should have retained him along with Sehwag. And if you ask me, shelling huge bucks on Irfan Pathan is a sheer waste. Maybe he is a talented player, but he's not worth the amount spent on him. Sehwag should play carefully the first couple of overs and then can take over spinners like Bhajji, Murtaza and Symonds. Warner, Ingram, Morkel and Aaron Finch should step in too and contribute to the team.

    Posted by Des_65 on (April 10, 2011, 9:28 GMT)

    I am from Mumbai but currently in Auckland, NZ. In 20-20, one or two overs can change the outcome of a match. So, even two good guys in an average team can spoil the party of a great team with all the greats. Even a tail ender can win a match if he plunders runs in one or two overs. So, 20-20 cannot be a true indicator of the team's strengths.

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 9:09 GMT)

    Go on Irfan rattle mumbai !!!!!.........I am a supporter of CSK though ...!! lets hope mumbai dont get a gud start....morne and irfan shud ensure that !!!!

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 9:05 GMT)

    yuvi and symonds r not team mates.

    Posted by Hennas on (April 10, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

    South africans are doing well,Botha,de villiers man of the match and kallis should have been=fastest fifty and 2 wkt including that of dhoni.lets hope it continous.Hennas

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

    andystat- there's a lot of free channels that stream cricket like .. however, they often go down when the server overloads and the quality isn't always good.

    Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (April 10, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

    Will support Mumbai Indias. But would love to see Irfan Pathan get is swing back. If he starts bowling like he used to India's bowling problems will get some help. If Irfan finds his swing back he will walk in to Indian Team to open bowling with Zahir. Would be great news!!!

    Posted by Avinash_mahesh on (April 10, 2011, 7:48 GMT)

    I think mumbai has definite edge over delhi

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 7:41 GMT)

    2 biggest cities in India? Mate, you are wrong in the first line itself.

    Posted by OffGrid on (April 10, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

    @andystat Hey mate you can watch it online on Times Of India.

    Posted by andystat on (April 10, 2011, 7:06 GMT)

    Sad that we aren't getting IPL in NZ considering it's the biggest competition outside the World Cup. Langesbury could be right, if it's not shown people will lose interest.

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

    Delhi is not a weak team,i agree that i dont have the star players but it have the talented players, come on delhi, u will win the context.

    Sehwag will take the revenge for his duck in WC by malinga

    Posted by Jumbojet2011 on (April 10, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

    In IPL mumbai indians team is like South Africa in world cup(s).They are the best side but i can guarantee you that they can not achieve any thing.

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

    Delhi's problem could be their bowlers. A lot will be on on Morne Morkel & Irfan Pathan to deliver. Mumbai Indians have lesser worries and look to be the favourites for this clash.

    Posted by Sasssss on (April 10, 2011, 6:01 GMT)


    Posted by Faijas on (April 10, 2011, 4:00 GMT)

    I am keralite but form Abu Dhabi and is the best supporter of MI from the begninning due to the Master... MI will rock today.... The team 1. Jacobs (O) 2. Master 3. Raidy 4. Rohit 5. Suman 6. Symonds (O) 7. Pollard (O) 8. Harbhajan 9. Malinga (O) 10. Munaf 11. Dhawal.... Nobody can beat this team....

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 3:56 GMT)

    delhi is a weak team. for mi it should be easy all the way

    Posted by AdityaKumar88 on (April 10, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

    Mumbai, send the Daredevils 11... : Sachin, Tirumal Shetty Suman, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Andrew Symonds, Moises Henriques, Kieron Pollard, Rajagopal Sathish, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Lasith Malinga.

    Posted by Shahnawajhossain on (April 10, 2011, 3:50 GMT)


    Posted by Shahnawajhossain on (April 10, 2011, 3:41 GMT)


    Posted by Raajay on (April 10, 2011, 3:40 GMT)

    You missed out Gauti among the talent that moved out of DD

    Posted by shaileshij on (April 10, 2011, 3:13 GMT)

    grt battel,but i think MUMBAI has more edge then the delhi,,Without Shewag NO daerdevils lefi in delhi,and i think the best playing XI for mumbai must be 1Sachin 2davy jacobes 3-ryadu 4-symonds 5-rohit 6-pollard 7-t suman 8-harbhajan 9-malinga 10-munaf 11-dhawal here are 7 batsman and 7 bowler with 3 spinner and 4 pacers

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 1:48 GMT)

    Why no Symonds in Mumbai playing XI?

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 1:25 GMT)

    got some laughs out of it..

    Posted by Langesbury on (April 10, 2011, 1:02 GMT)

    No coverage here in NZ. it will die a natural death here in NZ and it will lose the peoples interest after seeing that fifty over cricket as seen at the world cup produced quality matched between quality teams - not wishy washy stuff comprised of 6 quality players surrounded by local fill ins.

    Posted by   on (April 10, 2011, 0:23 GMT)

    Mumbai has the Strong batting line up...... decent bowling attack. Hope our little master continues his Dream Run. This Should be Line up for tomw. 1. Sachin 2. Blizzard 3. Symonds 4. Sharma 5. pollard 6 Rayudu(wk)7 Suman/satish 8 bajji 9 Ali mortaza/daval 10 Malinga 11 munaf. This Shud be perfect mix for mumbai.

    Posted by xylo on (April 9, 2011, 23:50 GMT)

    I thought Sehwag was battling fitness issues?

    Posted by Rusty78 on (April 9, 2011, 22:40 GMT)

    Grossly disappointed! There is no Television Coverage of IPL 4 in Australia! C'mon Mumbai, the team, on paper, speaks for itself. 1. Tendulkar 2. Jacobs 3. Pollard 4. Symonds 5. Rohit Sharma - that should be enough batsmen to do the job!

    Posted by   on (April 9, 2011, 20:35 GMT)

    Its Sachin All the way !!

    Posted by sna123 on (April 9, 2011, 20:04 GMT)

    Dude !! pathetic review .. where is the probable team .. first of all .. it came very late .. i have been waiting for it since the afternoon.. plus it looks like it has been written in a hurry ... why is symonds not a choice for the overseas players..? is he out somewhere? ... i need to know .. if he is .. it should have been mentioned.. i am going to watch the match tomorrow ... and i think i will be the sole MI suporter there !! .. neways nitin... pls dont do things in a hurry . we all love you .!

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    Nitin SundarClose
    Nitin Sundar Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.
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