Mumbai Indians has dominated so much in DLF IPL III that an alternative team composition could be considered by it for the forthcoming home game against Deccan Chargers. The 12 points accumulated at the halfway mark from six victories in seven appearances, is indication of stability in the side, induced by Sachin Tendulkar's presence as batsman and captain.
He is able to hold the batting line-up together, allowing others some breathing space to tackle the bowling in their own ways.
Shikhar Dhawan, Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu and R. Sathish have revelled in Tendulkar's company so far and are ready to take up more responsibility. Mumbai's success as a batting unit is built around these youngsters' alacrity in responding to changing situations.
Apart from these young Indians, Mumbai has in Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard two big hitters who have the ability to hit the ball over long distances.
The two West Indians, along with Harbhajan Singh, allow the team think-tank to play around with the batting order, so that there is a collective effort to make up when Tendulkar is dismissed early.
Tendulkar's biggest worry has been the bowling overrate. He has already been fined twice and one more instance is enough to rule him out of the next match.
Zaheer Khan as vice-captain is faced with the responsibility of finding a workable solution. Lasith Malinga, Ryan Mclaren and he form a formidable pace trio. Mumbai's asset in every match is the bowlers' ability to follow a plan.
Chargers' current position at seventh spot in the league is a little bizarre, considering the quality of players at Captain Adam Gilchrist's disposal. Australian Ryan Harris and West Indian Dwayne Smith (both all-rounders) will be available for Saturday's match.
Gilchrist's run of low scores does not take away the sheen from a line-up.
It has Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, Chaminda Vaas, R.P. Singh, Kemar Roach and Pragyan Ojha in that line-up.
Coach Darren Lehmann mentioned the inability of the Indian players to capitalise on good starts.
Sharma is yet to play match-winning knock while R.P. Singh is struggling to produce the same form as in IPL II.
Symonds and Gilchrist have been brilliant in patches, so the inclusion of all-rounders Harris, Smith would infuse fresh hope for the defending champion.