Mumbai: Dominant Mumbai Indians will seek revenge when they meet Rising Pune Supergiant in their IPL match at Wankhede stadium here on Monday. Steve Smith-led side are the only team that defeated Mumbai Indians half way into the tournament.
Smith (84) led the chase of 185 in their inaugural match but since then it has been struggle for the visiting side before they got their act together in the last game. Mahendra Singh Dhoni who had a relatively quiet tournament came to party with 34-ball 61 to guide his side to six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Rahul Tripathi at the top and Manoj Tiwary down the order have been impressive but Pune will hope their big players like Ajinkya Rahane and Ben Stokes stand up and make huge contribution at the top. Smith hasn’t got a big score after the first game.
The pitch offered good bounce for quicks on Saturday and spinners also got turn as Wankhede produced a low scoring match for a change. The conditions seem to be favouring the home team as there was less dew on Saturday when they were defending for the first time here in total contrast to earlier games.
Mumbai Indians batting flopped for the first time on Saturday against Delhi Daredevils quality pace attack but Pune don’t have similar quality pace attack to upset the Mumbai applecart. Local boy Shardul Thakur though can prove handful in familiar conditions especially if the ball moves in the air.
Every batsman has stepped up when needed and Mumbai Indians three wins out of six have come from hopeless situations. Bowlers have played their part too and delivered when required the most on Saturday.
Mitchell McClenaghan has leaked runs at times but he has taken wickets at crucial junctures. Jasprit Bumrah has been accurate with his yorkers especially at the death. Mitchell Johnson bowled well on Saturday and the dip in form of Lasith Malinga hasn’t hurt Mumbai yet though they will want him to do the role he is famous for as the tournament progresses. Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya have slowed things down in the middle overs.
New coach Mahela Jayawardene has been doing wonderful job in getting the best from every player and bowling coach Shane Bond has continuously pushed his bowlers.
The only worry is the form of Rohit Sharma, who has scored just 54 runs in seven games. All his five dismissals this season have come through wrist spinners (Imran Tahir, Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan, Samuel Badree and Amit Mishra)....