Mumbai Indians will face Pune Warriors India, which finally managed to record a win in the Pepsi IPL-VI against Rajasthan Royals, in Mumbai on Saturday.
The win against Royals will boost the sagging morale of the Warriors who went down in the first two matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. Angelo Mathews’s team has tasted victory and this will keep MI on its toes.
But, scoring a crushing win over Delhi Daredevils at home has so far been Mumbai Indians’ bright spot in the first phase of the Twenty20 competition.
After a poor performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore and a not so impressive display against Chennai Super Kings, Ricky Ponting’s team let loose its batting might after suffering two early blows against DD last Tuesday.
Almost every seat was occupied at the Wankhede and the spectators got their money’s worth with stroke-filled knocks from Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma. Tempted to be part of the sixth edition of the league, after he bid adieu to international cricket, Ponting accepted the captaincy offer and hoped his team would make a concerted effort to win the title for the first time.
Ponting’s leadership qualities have evoked lavish praise from some of his teammates. Last Tuesday he stunned batsman Unmukt Chand, bowler Harbhajan Singh and the spectators with a breathtaking diving catch. But after a half-century stand against RCB, Ponting must be looking forward to deliver the goods against PWI.
The third highest run-scorer in the league, Sachin Tendulkar expressed his displeasure at falling a run-out victim a second time in three matches when Mahela Jayawardene outwitted him with a direct hit.
On April 24, Tendulkar will join the 40-plus age group club in the league that has Adam Gilchrist, Brad Hogg, Rahul Dravid and Muttiah Muralitharan.
The champion batsman, who is working out at the gym and training sessions like a teenager, must be anxious to do some wonderful things with his bat in the IPL.