April 12, 2010 2:42:53 pm
The right to compete in the semifinals already in their pocket,formidable Mumbai Indians would look to keep up the tempo while Delhi Daredevils would do everything to move a step closer to last-four stage when the two sides clash in the Indian Premier League here on Tuesday.
The hosts are under no pressure in Tuesday’s tie but Delhi badly need a win as no less than two victories in their three remaining games would earn them a semifinal spot.
But it would not be an easy task for Delhi to conquer Mumbai Indians at home and another loss tomorrow would mean landing in a pressure cooker situation where two wins from two matches will be required.
Mumbai would not like to relax and lose the momentum that was briefly halted when they went to Chennai after a prolonged stint at home and lost two games on the trot prior to last night’s superb victory over Shane Warne’s Rajasthan.
The strong Delhi batting line-up,which includes India openers Virender Sehwag and captain Gautam Gambhir,caved in meekly on a turning track against Kings XI Punjab and would look forward to regain their touch.
The Brabourne authorities had more than a week to prepare the wicket for the clash and the wicket generally has not offered too much turn to the spinners even though Harbhajan Singh has revelled on it.
The visiting team not only has to battle the hot and humid conditions with the mercury soaring of late,but also the support of the crowd particularly for Tendulkar and Sri Lanka’s pace bowler Lasith Malinga.
The key to winning the battle for Delhi lies in dismissing Tendulkar cheaply but it’s an arduous task as the champion batsman is in scorching form. The Mumbai youngsters – Shikhar Dhawan,Ambati Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary have done well with the bat but it is Tendulkar who has been scoring bulk of the runs for the side.
Tendulkar,however,did not agree with the general view his team is depending a lot on him after the victory over the Royals last night. “In Twenty20 games it is difficult to be consistent. (Kieron) Pollard has contributed well with quick 25 runs and Yusuf’s (Pathan) wicket. Everyone in the team is playing his role,” Tendulkar said.
The statistics,however,tell a different tale and indicate that but for Tendulkar’s incredible form,which has fetched him the Orange Cap for becoming the top run-getter in IPL 3,Mumbai’s wheels would have come off by now. In bowling,the story has been different as almost all the bowlers have delivered after the mauling they got from Yusuf Pathan in the opening match on March 13.