Mumbai Indians may not have the services of paceman Lasith Malinga for their season-opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy stadium. The Sri Lankan pacer is suffering from a sore back which he sustained during the ODI series against Bangladesh.
Mumbai,however,have enough quality to chose from when it comes to spin. This could form one of their major selection puzzles over the course of the season. A surfeit of pacers,however,is the biggest issue in the Bangalore camp. How quickly the teams sort out these issues could play a big role in their respective IPL campaigns.
who is top spinner?
Last season,Mumbai Indians played 17 matches. Harbhajan Singh played in all 17,and took six wickets at an average of 64.00. Pragyan Ojha played only nine matches,but took nine wickets at 24.44.
Their economy rates werent too different: Ojhas 7.33 marginally higher than Harbhajans 7.11. Harbhajan was Mumbais lead spinner because he was their captain.
Now,with Ricky Ponting at the helm,who will he drop when Mumbai only play one specialist tweaker?
How many is too many?
Zaheer Khan,Abhimanyu Mithun,RP Singh,Jaydev Unadkat,Vinay Kumar,Pankaj Singh,Sreenath Aravind,Prasanth Parameswaran,Harshal Patel,Sandeep Warrier.
Bangalore are just one name short of being able to play an eleven full of Indian pacers. With overseas players Ravi Rampaul,Christopher Barnwell,Dan Christian,Moises Henriques and Andrew McDonald also jostling for seam-bowling slots,Bangalore could have a major selection headache over the course of the season.
Window of opportunity
Twenty20 is a vastly different format to four-day cricket,so its not surprising that a number of consistent Ranji Trophy performers havent quite made an impact in the IPL.
Thursdays match could provide an opportunity to a few of last seasons breakout performers. Mumbais squad includes two promising domestic all-rounders in MPs Jalaj Saxena and Himachal Pradeshs Rishi Dhawan,while Bangalore have in their ranks Kerala pacer Sandeep Warrier and Saurashtra batsman Sheldon Jackson. Will any of them make an impact in the IPL?