Mumbai Indians v Deccan Chargers, IPL, Mumbai April 26, 2008

Scraping the bottom


The Mumbai Indians desperately need Sachin Tendulkar back in action (file photo) © AFP
 

Match facts

Sunday, April 27, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)

The Big Picture

The bottom-ranked Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers are desperately chasing their first victory after three outings each. As if the absence of Sachin Tendulkar wasn't bad enough, Mumbai have been further hurt by the temporary suspension of Harbhajan Singh, their acting captain, after his row with Sreesanth on Friday. Top-order failures have hurt their batting, adding pressure on the middle and lower-order that mostly comprises young and inexperienced batsmen.

Deccan suffer from the same problem too, with the likes of Adam Gilchrist, VVS Laxman and Shahid Afridi failing to provide a rousing start yet. Laxman might feel his team was unlucky to have lost narrowly against Kolkata in the opener and then against Rajasthan Royals in the last game, but he has failed to be flexible if the original plan has not gone according to the script.

Watch out for ...

... a final blast from Andrew Symonds before he returns to Australia for a preparatory camp ahead of the Caribbean tour next month. He won't have to encounter Harbhajan, who had his number during the CB Series finals, which could make Symonds even more destructive.

Team news

Harbhajan's suspension has compounded the problems for the team management, who now have to keep the dressing room atmosphere positive in addition to working out winning strategies. Shaun Pollock takes over as captain, while Rajesh Pawar, the left-arm spinner, could be Harbhajan's replacement in the XI. The question mark over Tendulkar's fitness still remains to further add to the worries. The only piece of good news is the arrival of Loots Bosman, who is coming off an excellent Twenty20 season in South Africa - he was the highest run-getter of the tournament, with 257 runs at an average of 42.83 and a strike rate of 143.57. Bosman is likely to replace Luke Ronchi, while Pinal Shah will keep wicket in that scenario with Saurabh Tiwary missing out.

Mumbai Indians (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Loots Bosman, 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Pinal Shah (wk), 6 Shaun Pollock (capt), 7 Abhishek Nayar, 8 Musavir Khote, 9 Rajesh Pawar, 10 Dhawal Kulkarni, 11 Ashish Nehra.

It is highly unlikely Hyderabad would change their line-up, but they might be tempted to open with Gilchrist and Afridi.

Deccan Chargers (probable) 1 VVS Laxman (capt), 2 Adam Gilchrist, 3 Shahid Afridi, 4 Andrew Symonds, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Arjun Yadav, 7 Sanjay Bangar, 8 Chaminda Vaas, 9 RP Singh, 10 Pragyan Ojha, 11 D Kalyankrishna.

Stats and trivia

  • Symonds has gone for 101 runs in 6.5 overs in the IPL, which is an 'economy' rate of 14.78 runs per over. With the bat, he has scored 161 off 105, a strike rate of 153.33

  • Robin Uthappa is the only Mumbai batsman to score more than 100 runs in the tournament. He has an aggregate of 112, but the next best is only 67, by Abhishek Nayar and Shaun Pollock.

    Quotes

    It would be an exciting game considering both the teams are sailing in the same boat, so expect something big.
    Lalchand Rajput, Mumbai coach

    Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo