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MI have revenge in sight as they face Punjab

April 24, 2012 16:01 IST

Mumbai Indians will be keen to get their IPL campaign back on track when they face an upbeat Kings XI Punjab in a crucial away game, in Mohali on Tuesday.

It will be payback time for the Harbhajan Singh-led Mumbai Indians who were shocked by one of the weakest teams in the competition and that too on former's home turf.

Sachin Tendulkar may have scored just 23 against KXIP on Sunday but his presence at the top order gives the much-needed stability.

The batting legend, who had missed few games after getting hit on his finger in the opening game, was involved in a 51-run opening stand with Kiwi left-hander James Franklin before the maestro was run out misjudging a non-existing second run.

Sachin Tendulkar with Harbhajan SinghEarlier after Tendulkar's exit, Mumbai had tried different combinations in the four matches, but only 37 runs were produced for the opening wicket.

Despite Franklin's blistering knock of 79 off 51 balls, MI failed to defend 163, with KXIP's Aussie batsman Shaun Marsh striking form scoring unbeaten 68 of just 40 balls, not to forget impressive bowling by Delhi lad Parvinder Awana and India discard Piyush Chawla.

MI's key batsmen Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu have been inconsistent and in Sunday's match, Sharma (2) was out caught in 10th over playing an irresponsible shot off Awana when he had faced just five balls and his team needed him to stay on.

Mumbai's bowling department has been somewhat depleted with the absence of Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, who suffered back pain. But it's still better than their batting with Munaf Patel and Pragyan Ojha doing a good job.

MI skipper Harbhajan Singh has bagged just one wicket in six matches in the present competition, conceding 135 runs and that is definitely a cause for worry.

It will also be interesting to see whether the Punjab player will get some support from the crowds at PCA stadium when he comes to bat or bowl. Hoping that they will do better at Mohali, Harbhajan feels it was the fielding that took away the previous game from them.

"We had runs on the board, but fielding was the difference between the two teams. They fielded brilliantly and stopped about 15-20 odd runs. Had we fielded as well as they did, we would have been on the winning side," said Harbhajan.

He said after the loss the team would regroup again.

"We need to keep our plans simpleĀ… fielding needs to be lifted, this is an area where we can do better. Hopefully, we will do well in the next game," he said.

Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson is expected to join the squad on Monday.

Meanwhile, Sunday's win should give Punjab a psychological boost, since they'll be playing on their home soil.

The side is being led by stand-in captain David Hussey after regular skipper Adam Gilchrist suffered a hamstring injury.

The best thing for KXIP has been the return to form of discarded Aussie opener Shaun Marsh.

"The win against Mumbai was a great win for us. We are back in the competition," Marsh said and expressed satisfaction about the way he has batted in the last two innings.

Punjab, who have won three and lost four our of seven matches played so far, brought their campaign back on track with a win against Mumbai.

Mumbai have won three and lost three out of the six contested so far. Punjab also enjoy slight edge over Mumbai, having won six and lost three out of nine matches played against Mumbai Indians in all editions of the IPL so far.

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