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After beginning with two away fixtures, the Mumbai Indians will play their first home game of the season when they square off against the Delhi Daredevils.
After a gutting 2-run defeat in the opening game, the Mumbai Indians rallied back to defeat the Chennai Super Kings in their own backyard. The Delhi Daredevils meanwhile have lost two matches on the trot and will be keen to get their first points on the board.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 8 p.m
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
The dream pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting hasn’t set the stage on fire just yet. However, given the weight of 61,756 international runs, it won’t be too long before they stamp their authority on the tournament. Kieron Pollard gave glimpses of the destruction he is capable of causing during his unbeaten 57 against the Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians fans will wish the Trinidadian will get enough overs to bat on a consistent basis, and hope he can reproduce the big-hitting regularly.
On the bowling front, Mumbai Indians are likely to be boosted by the arrival of the IPL’s leading wicket-taker Lasith Malinga, who had missed the initial two matches owing to a back injury.
Delhi Daredevils will be boosted by the arrival of last season’s Purple Cap winner Morne Morkel. The 28-year old South African, who has been in good form recently, will be looking for a repeat of his last season’s performance when he picked up 25 wickets and topped the wickets charts.
The Daredevils are a far better batting side than their performances in the first two matches suggest; David Warner, Virender Sehwag (who is more than likely to be available for this match), Mahela Jayawardene, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan and Andre Russell make for a very solid batting line-up. Warner played an uncharacteristic innings against the Rajasthan Royals and it will be important that the Australian plays his natural game – of the attacking variety – which will give the team greater chances of winning.
It is five apiece where previous encounters between the Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils are concerned. While playing in Mumbai though, the Mumbai Indians have a 3-1 win-loss record over the Delhi Daredevils.
Five of the eight IPL matches played at the Wankhede Stadium last season were won by teams chasing.
Kieron Pollard has scored 67.3% of his 701 IPL runs in boundaries; his boundary percentage is second only to Chris Gayle’s 75.7%.
While the Delhi Daredevils will head back to host the Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 12, the Mumbai Indians will stay put at home to host neighbours Pune Warriors India on April 13.
It is a painful five run loss that the Delhi Daredevils are coming off as they face an upbeat Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday. It was a much better performance by the Daredevils as compared to their tournament opener against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Their ace speedster Umesh Yadav picked up four wickets against the Rajasthan Royals and one of their key batsmen in the lineup David Warner; showed some form scoring a 56 ball 77 in the Daredevils’ run chase.
Both their matches in the tournament have been contrasting. In the first game, their batting gave way, whereas in the second, their bowlers leaked far too many runs. Come Tuesday, against the Mumbai Indians, the Daredevils would want to put up a good collective effort on the field.
“We have discussed after the two losses as to where we went wrong and what needs to be done, we are just trying to get better and to be honest we haven’t played to our potential. Once we start playing to our potential, I think we are going to beat many sides in the tournament,” said Daredevils all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who addressed the press here in Mumbai.
A lot of big names are missing from the DD lineup and one of the biggest names missing out in the two matches played so far has been Virender Sehwag who has been nursing his back. It is still unsure if Sehwag will be a part of the high octane game on Tuesday as Irfan Pathan said, “Sehwag is here. He will be practicing today and a decision on his availability will be taken only tomorrow.” Pathan was also unsure of Morne Morkel’s participation in the fixture tomorrow as he was expected to join the squad soon.
The team has suffered two back to back losses in the tournament, definitely not a good way to start, especially after they were on a roll last year. The DD pacer was confident that things will turn around soon. “We would have liked to have two wins instead of two losses, but we are professional cricketers and we all know that it’s a long tournament and once you get the winning momentum, things will turn around. We are very positive and hopeful of a good show against the Mumbai Indians. We will try and play like Daredevils, like we did last year.”
On a personal front too, Irfan has been silent. He is coming off an injury and hasn’t had the best of starts to the tournament. Irfan believes, he will only get better by playing more and more matches. “It is just a matter of bowling a lot more, I played the first match and bowled just two overs and in the second match, bowled four overs and the rhythm was better. I am only going to get better with time, especially after coming back after an injury; you need to keep bowling a lot more especially in the matches and not in the nets. I am feeling a lot better after the second game.”
And what will it be to face off against the likes of a star studded MI line-up? “There is a lot of attention on the star-power in the Mumbai Indians line up. This might just prove to be an edge for us, as when you play as big stars, they will be under a lot of pressure.”