Pune v Mumbai, IPL 2013, Pune May 10, 2013

Mumbai seek gains in mismatch

Match facts

May 11, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

With 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 guide

Pune Warriors LLLLL
Mumbai Indians WWLWW

Players to watch

It'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

  • Since their IPL debut in 2011, Warriors have lost 32 matches, winning just 10. They have beaten Mumbai just once in three attempts.
  • Rohit Sharma has hit 25 sixes in this edition, second behind Chris Gayle.
  • Kieron Pollard has the most caught and bowled dismissals - 13 - in T20s.

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."
Pragyan Ojha on Rohit Sharma

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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