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The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran
May 10, 2013
Match factsMay 11, 2013
Big PictureWith a place in the playoffs at stake, Mumbai Indians face the easiest of their next four opponents first up in Pune. Pune Warriors have lost eight consecutive games and have no chance of qualifying and a win against them could lift Mumbai to second place, with 18 points. They come into the game after overpowering Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders at home.
If Mumbai slip up against Warriors, it will open up the table for at least two other teams vying for the playoffs - Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore. They return to the Wankhede for their next two matches - where they haven't lost a game - but Mumbai wouldn't want to leave too much for the last minute.
With nothing to play for, Warriors can only cause upsets in their three remaining games. Their batting was the biggest letdown against Knight Riders, with only two passing double figures in a tepid chase. Another loss will put them on par with their worst slump of nine consecutive losses, which they suffered last year.
Form guidePune Warriors LLLLL
Players to watchIt's to Warriors' misfortune that their star Indian player, Yuvraj Singh, hasn't fired in this IPL. Yuvraj averages a shade under 20 in ten games with no half-centuries. At times he has got starts but failed to convert. In his most recent innings, he fell for just 1. Having been overlooked for India's one-day squads for the Champions Trophy and the tri-series in the West Indies, the coming games will be his chance to get some confidence back.
The new responsibility of captaincy hasn't affected Rohit Sharma's batting. He leads the run charts for Mumbai this season with 430 runs at 53.75. Having replaced Ricky Ponting as captain, it appears as if Mumbai are looking to him as their long-term leader.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"He is very cool on the field. He takes his own decisions. We have a few seniors and as a youngster when a senior says something, there is a little bit of pressure but he handles it very well."
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
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Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough