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CL T20: Mumbai Indians to play for pride

Last updated on: October 21, 2012 16:40 IST

CL T20: Defending champs Mumbai Indians to play for pride



Their title defence having ended early with a whimper, Mumbai Indians will look to salvage some of their battered reputation with at least a win when they take on Sydney Sixers in an inconsequential Group B match of the Champions League Twenty20 in Durban on Monday.

Mumbai Indians came into the tournament as one of the favourites with a star-studded squad but failed to live up to their reputation, losing two matches and one game being abandoned due to rain.

Group toppers Sydney Sixers, along with Highveld Lions, have cashed in on the disappointing show by Mumbai and the other IPL team in the group, Chennai Super Kings, to qualify for the semi-finals with three wins on the trot.

Mumbai Indians lost their opening match to Highveld Lions by eight wickets before their next tie against Yorkshire was washed out. They once again failed to re-group and went down to Chennai Super Kings by a narrow six-run margin last night.

The Harbhajan Singh-led side will look to end the tournament on a high but with the form Sydney Sixers are in, it won't be easy for them and they will have to play out of their skins to notch up a win.

Mumbai have performed reasonably well with the bat, having posted almost identical scores (157 and 156) in the first two matches against Lions and Yorkshire respectively before scoring 167 for seven while chasing 174 against Chennai Super Kings.

Image: Harbhajan Singh
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images


Mumbai's bowlers and Tendulkar have been off-colour

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While West Indian Dwayne Bravo has managed to get some runs up the order, Mumbai have been hugely let down by Sachin Tendulkar's lack of form as the veteran batsman could manage only 16, 7 and 2 from the three matches he had played so far.

Mumbai's batting unit revolves around Tendulkar and he will have to come up with a big score to help his team put enough runs on board against a strong Australian unit.

The Indian outfit will also hope that the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Kieron Pollard, who have all shown their potential in one match or the other in the tournament so far, stand up together and lend some solidity to the middle-order.

MI's bowling unit, with the exception of pacer Lasith Malinga, has completely looked off-colour and if Mumbai want to have any chance of registering a face-saving win, the bowlers will have to fire in unison.

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Watson, Haddin lend meat to Sydney's batting

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Sydney Sixers, meanwhile, would need to guard against complacency if they want to maintain their winning momentum going into the last four stage.

Sixers have looked formidable in the tournament so far and with the presence of Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Steven Smith, Micheal Lumb in their ranks, the side possesses a strong batting line-up.

Their main strength, however, remains the bowling, which saw them restrict Yorkshire to a meagre 96. They then allowed Lions to score a modest 137 for nine.

Both Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have been among the wickets and with all-rounder Moises Henriques and experienced Watson also coming good with the ball, the team has the arsenal to tame any side in the tournament.

The Teams (From):

Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Richard Levi, Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Thisara Perera, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Dhawal Kulkarni, Suryakumar Yadav.

Sydney Sixers: Brad Haddin (capt; wk), Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Michael Lumb, Nathan McCullum, Nic Maddinson, Ian Moran, Peter Nevill, Steve O'Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Dominic Thornely, Shane Watson.

Match Starts at 9pm IST.

Image: Shane Watson
Photographs: Carl Fourie / Gallo Images/Getty Images

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