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RCB host MI in a match with major playoff implications
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 13 May 2012
Match 62 of DLF IPL 2012 will feature two teams that are still in contention for a place in the playoffs; Mumbai Indians, with 16 points from 13 matches sit slightly higher than the Royal Challengers Bangalore (15 points from 13 matches) in the points table. A win for MI here could propel them to second place in the standings, while an RCB win will see them displace their opponents from their current third position.
Despite all their riches, both teams haven’t been as dominant as one had expected them to be. However, with most of the pieces falling into place, both teams have started to look the part. And given how closely teams are packed in the race for the playoffs, expect both these sides to come out all guns blazing.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore come into this contest with the confidence of three consecutive victories behind them, while the Mumbai Indians caused an upset of sorts in their previous match by beating the formidable Kolkata Knight Riders in their own backyard. When
Monday, May 14, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Look no further than Chris Gayle for the one player who’s influenced RCB’s fortunes the most. Since joining the RCB squad midway through last season, the Jamaican has contributed close to a third of the runs scored by his team (the number shoots up to 36 percent in matches RCB have gone on to win). The other fact that best illustrates Gayle’s influence in RCB’s success is the fact that he’s won 10 Man-of-the-Match awards in the 24 matches he’s played for the team.
Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 109, in the previous match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, was ample evidence that he is immensely talented. He’s been lacking consistency and the temperament to win matches. The Mumbai Indians management will be hoping the 25-year-old can take a lot of confidence from that century and play many more such innings in the future.
For the Mumbai Indians to unleash their force, they need big contributions from Sachin Tendulkar too. The Little Master has managed only one half-century in nine innings this season. With a lot riding on these last few matches, expect Tendulkar to step up to the party.
The head-to-head between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians stands at five matches apiece. Interestingly though, whenever these two teams have met in Bangalore, it has been the visitors who’ve emerged victors.
In the three meetings between the two teams at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, the Mumbai Indians have registered convincing wins; in IPL 2008 and IPL 2011, they registered nine-wicket wins, while in IPL 2010 they handed the hosts a 57-run thrashing.
In the most recent meeting between these two teams – at the Wankhede Stadium on May 9 – the visitors cruised to a nine-wicket victory in their chase of 142. Trivia
Chris Gayle has won 10 Man-of-the-Match awards in the 24 matches he’s played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chris Gayle also holds the record for the most 50-plus scores in Twenty20 cricket; he’s scored 26 half-centuries and seven centuries. What next?
In three days time (on May 17) the Royal Challengers Bangalore will be seen in action at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium when they square off against the Delhi Daredevils. The Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, host the Kolkata Knight Riders on May 16.
MI bowling mentor quietly confident about his wards combating RCB’s big guns
By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 13 May 2012
With Rohit Sharmastorming his way back into form with a century against KKR and Herschelle Gibbs hitting the ground running after returning from a finger injury, the Mumbai Indians look a different side now. As they take on theRoyal Challengers Bangaloreat the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, they have a chance to avenge their crushing home defeat. Sitting in third place in the points table, MI will also look to widen the one-point gap between themselves and RCB to press a claim on a playoff spot.
Shaun Pollock, MI’s bowling mentor, spoke to the media ahead of the crucial game. Without revealing much, he assured that his team has plans for RCB’s two big guns –Chris Gayle andAB de Villiers.
The Chris Gayle factor
At the moment, what separates him from the others is the fact that he’s consistent. There are many people who can hit the ball hard, but he’s been doing it consistently. We realise that he’s a very important player for them and we’ve come with our plans to combat that. If we get him early, it will be a big blow for RCB.
AB de Villiers
There’s no doubt he’s a quality player and is now leading South Africa. The first time I saw him, I knew he’ll be a quality cricketer. Along with Gayle, he’s a big player for them. I hope he doesn’t play well against us, and when South Africa go to the World Twenty20 [hope] he’s brilliant.
Lack of yorkers in T20
I played in the pre-T20 era when people like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were brilliant in bowling those yorkers. But fortunately for them there was no one playing the paddles, the reverse paddle sweeps and all those different shots. If batsmen play straight down the ground, the yorkers are No.1 option. But when batsmen go down on their knee to sweep one to the fine-leg or third man when it is up, it is quite tough to pull off the yorker. Having said that, it is still the most effective delivery in cricket and the guys practise it. But nowadays, it is important to know when to bowl it.
Abu Nechim’s absence this season
There’s nothing stopping him from going [to] the next level. It’s just that the MI attack has changed from the last year. Last year, we didn’t have guys like RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha. These are both India international bowlers, and when you have them, there’s not much opportunity for guys like Nechim. We have some other fine bowlers like Dhawal Kulkarni and Rahul Shukla as well. As a coach, it’s frustrating for me that these guys are not getting opportunities because when you work so hard on the players, you want to see how they’re responding. But the team’s make-up doesn’t allow them all a place in the playing XI. Herschell Gibbs’ return
Gibbs opened in the last game for us. Unfortunately, he wasn’t available for us in the previous games as he had broken his finger and was out for five weeks.