Punjab and Mumbai seek first win
Match factsFriday, April 25, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)
The Big PictureThere is plenty at stake here as both sides have gone two rounds without a win and languish at the bottom of the points table. Mumbai, who were at the wrong end of two close encounters, will pin their hopes on the possibility of their captain and icon, Sachin Tendulkar, making his IPL debut on a batting-friendly Mohali wicket. It will be interesting to see whether the crowds flock to arguably the most spectator-friendly stadium in India, after large sections of the stadium were empty in Punjab's first game.
Watch out for ...... a classic contest between Tendulkar, if he plays, and the fiery Brett Lee. Look for needle between Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh; there was some friction over fielding issues during the recent Test series against South Africa. Harbhajan, who may have to captain the side for the third match running, has the added challenge of playing for the away team in what is his Ranji home ground, and will play opposite his state-mate, Yuvraj Singh.
Team newsIf Tendulkar does return, Vikrant Yeligati, the offspinner, could be dropped after going for 16 runs in his one over in Chennai. The rest of the team will probably remain largely unchanged, but Nayar may feel he deserves a promotion after taking Mumbai close to a win in the last game.
Mumbai: (probable) 1 Sachin Tendulkar (capt), 2 Sanath Jayasuriya, 3 Luke Ronchi (wk), 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Abhishek Nayar, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Shaun Pollock, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Musavir Khote, 10 Ashish Nehra, 11 Dhaval Kulkarni.
Punjab may bring in VRV Singh, the right-arm seamer who has played for India in Tests and ODIs, in place of Wilkin Mota. Mahela Jayawardene is likely to retain his place despite making just 2 in his only innings.
Punjab: (probable) 1 Karan Goel, 2 James Hopes, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Yuvraj Singh (capt), 6 Irfan Pathan, 7 Sunny Sohal, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Piyush Chawla, 10 Vikram Singh, 11 Sreesanth.
Stats and trivia
"The wishes of my fans and team-mates is the best gift I have received today. I hope I will perform better this year." Tendulkar on his 35th birthday
Ashok Ganguly is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo