Rohit Sharma © IANS
Sharjah: Apr 26, 2014
Stuck at the bottom of the heap, defending champions Mumbai Indians will be desperate to open their account in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they lock horns with Delhi Daredevils, who are also struggling to get going in the ongoing seventh edition of the cash-rich event.
While Mumbai Indians are placed last with three defeats in as many games in the eight-team league, the Daredevils are a shade better at seventh with one win and three losses ahead of their next match at the Dubai International Stadium.
Daredevils skipper Kevin Pietersen, who failed in his first attempt after missing the side’s first three matches, will be eager to put up a better show against the defending champions. The Delhi outfit will take confidence from the fact that its openers Murali Vijay and Quinton de Cock performed well in their last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), helping the team close in on the chase of a competitive total before falling apart.
The middle-order, including Pietersen and JP Duminy, will have to shoulder more responsibility against the Rohit Sharma-led side. The former England star Pietersen will be key to Daredevils’ chances, with support coming in from Dinesh Karthik, Duminy and Manoj Tiwary.
Daredevils will have to improve their bowling as they could manage just one wicket against Sunrisers Hyderabad while giving away 184 runs. Mohammad Shami, Wayne Parnell and Jaydev Unadkat all leaked runs with Aaron Finch and David Warner going great guns.
As far as Mumbai are concerned, Sharma led from the front with a superlative half-century in their last match, and they will hope for a similar outing from their captain. They have the ever-dependable Mike Hussey at the top of the order and equally threatening will be New Zealand’s batting sensation Corey Anderson. Kieron Pollard is also yet to set the stage ablaze with his power hitting.
In the bowling department, experienced pros Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh will need to bring in all their experience to effect a turnaround. And they also have the mercurial Lasith Malinga who has the ability to run through any batting line-up on his day. Pragyan Ojha is Harbhajan’s spin partner and Anderson and Pollard complete the bowling attack.
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