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As a result of Mumbai Indians’ recent last-over win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Kolkata Knight Riders slipped down from the first two places in league standings for the first time in three weeks.
The Mumbai Indians should consider themselves fortunate to be where they are; though they haven’t been anywhere close to their potential, they are one win away from sealing a berth in the playoffs. KKR were unstoppable in mid-tournament, but defeats in their last two matches (to MI and CSK) have meant they still need the one win to ensure a berth in the playoffs.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
With 228 runs and just one half-century to his credit in 10 innings, it would be fair to say – given the standards he has set – Sachin Tendulkar has underperformed so far. Due to MI’s problems at the top of the order and the importance of this game, expect the Little Master to come out more determined and play the sheet anchor role, like he did for most part of the last season.
There’s no question about the talent and ability of Rohit Sharma. However, the lack of sound temperament and consistency has often been held against him. Worryingly for the Mumbai Indians and for Indian cricket, that trend has continued this IPL as well. Every inning from the MI batsman, following a meaningful one, has produced a low score. The 25-year-old needs to appreciate the importance of performing consistently, especially since a lot rides on these last few games.
The two players in the KKR line-up who stand way above the rest are their skipper Gautam Gambhir and spinner Sunil Narine. Gambhir has not allowed the burden of captaincy affect his batting, and has instead performed better with the added responsibility. The southpaw has scored six half-centuries in 11 innings since deciding to open the innings, and he appears to be on top of his game.
Narine, meanwhile, has been unplayable almost every single time he has got the ball in his hand. Apart from being his team’s leading wicket-taker (15 wickets), the Trinidadian has also plugged the scoring rate by strangling the opposition; his economy rate in IPL 2012 is 5.29.
Whenever the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders have gone head-to-head, the former have generally emerged victors. In the nine meetings between the two teams, MI have been triumphant on eight occasions. KKR registered their only victory over MI when they beat them by nine wickets at the Eden Gardens in IPL 2010.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams at Kolkata earlier this season, MI beat KKR by 27 runs. Powered by Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 109, the visitors posted 182 for one while batting first; they then restricted the hosts to 155 for four.
Lasith Malinga had picked up wickets in each of his first eight matches in IPL 2012, but he has gone wicket-less in the next three matches.
The Mumbai Indians will next feature in the final league fixture of the season when they take on the Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on May 20. The Kolkata Knight Riders, meanwhile, will finish their league schedule with an away clash against the Pune Warriors India on May 19.
DD coach talks about his team’s recent run and the road ahead
By IPL Staff
New Delhi 14 May 2012
One of the most consistent performers in IPL 2012, the Delhi Daredevils will take on Kings XI Punjabat the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. The home team comes into the game after a loss to the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, while the visitors are high on the back of thrilling victory over the Deccan Chargers.
However DD aren’t too bothered by their recent losses and look forward to getting back to their winning ways. Ahead of their match, coach TA Sekar addressed the press here. Excerpts: On the loss against Chennai Super Kings
The thing is we lost quick wickets. In the first six overs, we lost four wickets and all our top batters got out. It happens in Twenty20 cricket very regularly. When you lose four wickets like that, naturally it is going to be difficult to put up a big total [like] 170-180. We could have played better. On whether they have lost their momentum after recent losses
Not really, because the match before that, we won by nine wickets. So that doesn’t really bother us. It’s not a concern at all. On Virender Sehwag’s form
No batsman has scored in every game. He has five continuous fifties, which is a record and in the last match, he got out to a beauty of a delivery and any batsman in the world would have got out to that. It is not that he is just throwing his wicket; he was comprehensively beaten and bowled. Sehwag is one player, if he gets going, all five matches we have won comfortably. Nobody has a 100 percent record. No batsman in the world has got that; [...] it’s a game of chance. Law of averages has to catch up. Maybe in the coming matches he [will have a good run] again. [In] next five matches, we will be near the finals [...] One more purple patch, and we through to the finals. On the Chennai wicket where the finals will be played
The wicket was good. The wicket is a new wicket [...]. The wicket was hard. It was not turning at all. They had prepared a very good wicket. And then, when we bowled, there was bit of dew and the ball came on to the bat nicely. If this kind of wicket is given, it is good for Twenty20 wicket. It is not like a low-bounce or turning [wicket] like previous matches. It is a good wicket.
On Ross Taylor’s role, especially since DD has Sehwag and David Warner batting at the top of the order
More than the role, Ross Taylor is a class batsman. I believe in ‘class is permanent and form is only temporary.’ He has come out of an injury and then he played even though he was not hitting the ball, he was involved in couple of partnerships in the matches we won. With Sehwag, he had a good partnership of 82 [odd runs]. He was sick during the Hyderabad game [against the Deccan Chargers], so that is why we had to drop him. You needed a guy like Ross. You cannot go with just two big hitters at the top. You need a guy like [Mahela] Jayawardene to control the game in the middle. Ross can play both roles; he can control [the innings] and at the same time towards the end, he can hit. He has a good record in the IPL and CLT20, etc. We cannot discount Ross; he is a class player.