Cricket » Indian Premier League 2014

Updated: May 25, 2014 02:08 IST

Clash of blues sets up a last match humdinger

G. Viswanath
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Lendl Simmons.
PTI Lendl Simmons.

The clash of blues, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals has set the adrenalin rushing among the teams’ fans.

Both are looking to take the fourth spot in IPL-7.

High anxiety is bound to play havoc with the nerves of both teams at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday given the permutations and combinations involved.

However, the teams will be in a position to plan their strategy and play according to the requirements arising from the results of Saturday’s matches.

Home advantage

Perhaps MI will have some advantage of playing in front of the home crowd and the confidence of having beaten Royals by 25 runs at the latter’s home ground.

After a run of the mill showing in the five matches in the Middle East, the defending champion started from scratch and notched up its first win here.

The MI squad has undergone a sea change over the years, especially this season. Some of the seamers had to leave owing to injury and national duty summoned Lasith Malinga to England.

On Friday, Praveen Kumar twisted his left ankle while hurrying towards his team that had lined up to pay homage to Madhav Mantri.

Nothing seemed to work well for Rohit Sharma’s team that has the best support staff, like John Wright, Jonty Rhodes, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and Ricky Ponting, to guide it.

After a trail and error method, Mumbai Indians found a successful opening combination in Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey, both of whom can take much credit for getting their team into a position with a real chance of making the play-offs, which looked unlikely when the team left the Emirates.

Mumbai Indians would also be keen to find a place for Corey Anderson in the make or break match on Sunday.

The Shane Watson-led Royals have thrived on top-notch performances by most of its players.

Players in form

The runs have come from Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Vishwanadh, Karun Nair and the captain Shane Watson, while Pravin Tambe, Rajat Bhatia and James Faulkner have been among the wickets.

But, the fact that it has lost two matches in a row and will be under immense pressure to outwit the home team.

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