Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 10 May 2013 - 09:53pm IST
Preview : Match 58 – PWI vs MI
Form weighs in Mumbai Indians’ favour
Match 58 of Pepsi IPL 2013 is the Maharashtrian Derby with Pune Warriors India hosting the mighty Mumbai Indians in a match which is definitely more crucial to the latter.
That PWI have had a miserable season can be established from the fact that they lie at the bottom of the table, having won only two matches. The team will be keen to arrest their eight-match losing streak and give their fans something to cheer about.
In their last outing, the Mumbai Indians trounced defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by a mammoth margin of 65 runs. With eight wins from 12 matches, MI sit among the top four teams in the standings and are on the brink of qualification to the Pepsi IPL 2013 Play-Offs.
Saturday, May 11, 2013, 4 p.m
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Robin Uthappa has consistently scored runs for PWI and there will be expectations of him to get the team off to a solid start yet again. Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews have played useful hands every now and then; PWI will need at least one of them to support Uthappa by playing a big knock.
Runs from Sachin Tendulkar was the missing block in the Mumbai Indians’ jigsaw puzzle. The Little Master scored 48 off 28 balls in the previous match – a knock which drew parallels to his fluency in the late 1990s. With him back among the runs makes it the top five of MI being among the runs. The team could possibly have Tendulkar play through the innings allowing the likes of Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard to go after the bowling.
On the bowling front, MI certainly hold the edge, not only in terms of experience but also in terms of match-winners. Mitchell Johnson has been lethal, getting the ball to jag back in, while Lasith Malinga seems to be getting his Yorkers right yet again. In the spin cupboard, MI have Harbhajan Singh who seems to have rediscovered his rhythm and Pragyan Ojha who is among the top wicket-takers in the IPL.
The Mumbai Indians have won four of their five matches against Pune Warriors India. In the most recent meeting between the two teams at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, MI posted 183 on the back of a half-century from Rohit Sharma and then restricted the visitors to 142 for eight to register a comprehensive 41-run win.
Mumbai Indians have won seven of the nine matches they have batted first this season. They have also posted six scores of 150 or more batting first. The Mumbai Indians have posted the most 50-plus partnerships this season – 15. Pune Warriors India meanwhile have conceded the most 50-plus partnerships – 14.
Pune Warriors India will head out to Kolkata to take on the Kolkata Knight riders on May 15. The Mumbai Indians meanwhile will head back home to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 13.