Clash of the heavyweights
Match factsMonday, April 16, Mumbai
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Two of the most power-packed IPL sides, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils, take on each other on Monday at the Wankhede Stadium after having had relatively long breaks, by IPL standards, of five and four days respectively. Mumbai Indians and Daredevils have had decent starts to the season. The Daredevils crushed defending champions Chennai Super Kings with nearly seven overs to spare in their previous game. Mumbai Indians overcame a stiff challenge from Owais Shah to beat Rajasthan Royals in front of a packed Wankhede.
The good news for the home side is that Sachin Tendulkar batted against a few throwdowns yesterday. Tendulkar has not played a game since injuring his finger in Mumbai Indians' season opener against Super Kings. Will they rush him into the playing XI? Richard Levi, the Mumbai Indians opener, said that they would take a call on Tendulkar tomorrow.
Tendulkar's replacements at the top of the order have struggled to provide starts but the heavyweight middle order and a world-class bowling attack have not let that come in the way of posting three wins from four games.
Daredevils look a completely different side with the availability of Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and now, Ross Taylor, who has declared himself "95% fit". Daredevils will have to figure out how to play all three overseas batsmen, though. Leaving out Roelof van der Merwe weakens the spin-bowling department, an area in which Daredevils are already short.
Players to watchLasith Malinga wrecked Daredevils for just 95 last season in Delhi. Malinga had figures of 3.4-1-13-5, and his maiden over was to Virender Sehwag, of all batsmen. It was Malinga who turned Mumbai Indians' previous game against Royals, bowling the rampaging Shah with a yorker.
Fresh from a match-winning 151 in England's second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo, Kevin Pietersen smashed an unbeaten 42 from 26 deliveries against Super Kings. The IPL may not be a big draw in England; Pietersen is here to enjoy himself, though.
2011 head-to-headMumbai Indians beat Daredevils in both meetings last year. Malinga was all over them in Delhi, and an all-round performance proved too much for the visitors in Mumbai.
Stats and trivia
- Daredevils' 98-run loss to Mumbai Indians in 2010 was their second-largest in terms of runs, and the fourth-largest in the history of the IPL
- Malinga's economy-rate of 4.54 is the best so far this season (minimum five overs bowled)
Quotes"If the communication is good, doesn't matter, whoever you are batting with is alright."
Richard Levi is not bothered about having batted with three different opening partners in four games so far
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.