Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians need a Yusuf Pathan-like innings to storm into play-offs

Rohit Sharma (left) is capable of emulating Yusuf Pathan's (centre) feat and going by form, even Lendl Simmons can produce such a breathtaking innings © IANS
Rohit Sharma (left) is capable of emulating Yusuf Pathan’s (centre) feat and going by form, even Lendl Simmons can produce such a breathtaking innings © IANS

Yusuf Pathan helped Kolkata Knight Riders storm into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 second spot with a whirlwind knock. His innings may have inadvertently inspired Mumbai Indians ahead of their crucial clash against the Rajasthan Royals, writes Nishad Pai Vaidya.

It was the kind of innings that could inspire any side facing a test the next day. While Yusuf Pathan’s blitz helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and crushed Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the end of grueling season, it may have inadvertently inspired the Mumbai Indians. The Rohit Sharma-led side face the Rajasthan Royals in a big game at the Wankhede Stadium. Not only do Mumbai have to win, but they have to either win by 42 runs or chase down the total in 14.3 overs, so that the net run-rates fall in place. A tough task but, as Pathan showed, it isn’t impossible.

If Mumbai do win the toss, they would be better off chasing. It is simply because winning a game by 42 runs won’t be easy and it is much safer to take on a score and chase it down in 14.3 overs. Considering the way they imploded while batting first against Delhi Daredevils, it is better if they bowl first. Planning a run-chase in such a situation is easier as the only option they have is to go out and attack the bowling. Kolkata timed it perfectly with a solid platform being laid and Pathan then taking over. He had the license to go all out, with nothing to lose and with such an approach, any side would feel the freedom to go for the kill.

Mumbai have the batsmen for the job if they are to chase the score. At the outset, someone like a Lendl Simmons can take the lead by smashing it around. Throughout the tournament, he has shown the ability to charge early and set the tone for the innings. Fresh from all those good scores, Simmons is a good bet for Mumbai to start their innings well and then charge later on. Plus, one mustn’t count Michael Hussey out of the equation. Though a conventional batsman, he can score quick runs and smash runs with a silken touch.

But, if you have to pick two men who are absolutely crucial for the job, they have to be Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. Rohit, when on song and in touch, can clear any ground. He may not have the same power, but can time his strokes well. It is all about his mindset. The day he comes to the centre, prepared to take the assault, that is when he can charge at any bowling attack. He has always been a crucial player for the Mumbai Indians and the stage is set for him to unleash another aggressive knock to move forward.

Pollard is the trump card through all this. In every game, he has the licence to thrill and this time, it is more than a licence: It is the need of the hour. In 2013, Pollard played a crucial role in Mumbai’s triumph, none more crucial than his knock in the final. This time, it is a bit different as they have their task cut out. Pollard may well be promoted ahead up the order. For this clash, it is important for Mumbai to get their batting order right. Pollard and Rohit have to play central roles, even if they are setting a target.

Mumbai will take heart from their victory against Perth Scorchers last year during the Champions League T20 (CLT20). To qualify for the semi-final, they had to chase down the score in about 14 overs. Rohit rose to the occasion and smashed 51 off 24 balls and then Pollard also contributed with Rayudu adding a finishing touch. Keeping that in mind, Mumbai will back themselves if they have to chase. But, the bowlers have to do a good job of restricting the Rajasthan Royals.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (18:30 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Photos

England Women vs India Women 2014, 1st ODI at Scarborough

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

India still in a position to succeed against England in ODIs

13 things you may not know about Ravi Shastri

Duncan Fletcher speaks out; explains why Team India failed in the Test series against England!

Science of slip fielding: What might be wrong with Team India’s slip cordon

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Ravi Shastri Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe

Sachin Tendulkar pays tribute to Yoga guru BKS Iyengar

Zaheer Khan: India cannot win overseas without scoring runs

Kieron Pollard aims to be more consistent for West Indies

Graeme Smith will not be joing Perth Scorchers

Sachin Tendulkar helped to mentally prepare for England tour: Suresh Raina

India tour of England 2014: Blaming WAGs for India’s poor run is childish

India look to regain confidence in warm-up match ahead of ODI series against England

India tour of England 2014: Visitor’s recent record in overseas ODIs a cause for concern

India tour of England 2014: Duncan Fletcher’s see-saw coaching career could be at its end

India tour of England 2014: Is county cricket really the answer for Indian batsmen?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

660 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny Cricket Wonders and Blunders

Zaheer Khan: India cannot win overseas without scoring runs

LoP issue can`t be prolonged, needs objective consideration: SC

ISIS offered to swap Pakistan scientist for slain United States journalist James Foley

Motorola Moto X+1 photo leaked ahead of launch on September 4

बी.के.एस. अयंगर और उनका अयंगर योग

Tulip Joshi: It was not a calculated move to do TV, I will keep doing films

Kieron Pollard aims to be more consistent for West Indies

Delhi HC dismisses PIL on UPSC exam issue, asks petitioner to approach CAT

Bang Bang song Tu Meri: Hrithik Roshan romances Katrina Kaif in this peppy number

How the Ebola virus spreads in humans

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here