Riding high on the thrilling victory over Rajasthan on Sunday, the defending champions will take on Chennai Super Kings in the Eliminator at Brabourne Stadium tonight. Dhananjay Roy suggests five things Rohit Sharma and his boys would do well to keep in mind
1. Forget the euphoria of Sunday
There have been numerous instances where teams, having played out of their skin to win a key clash, go on to falter in the next encounter. The main reason for this is the emotional toll that the previous game had taken on the victors. Mumbai Indians must overcome this devil tonight.
2. Open well, shut it tight
A key reason for MI's struggle in the first leg of the competition in UAE was the failure of the openers. But ever since they have entrusted Lendl Simmons and Mike Hussey with the job, very little has gone wrong for the defending champions. They need to show the way now more than ever.
Eyes on the ball: Mumbai Indians players warm up with a game of football. Pic/Suresh KK
3. Corey must stay hot
All-rounder Corey Anderson was a different beast against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday night, hitting an unbeaten 95 off 44 balls. And, as Kings XI Punjab's Glenn Maxwell has shown, lightning can strike twice in a span of a couple of days! The Kiwi will have to fly high tonight as well.
4. Contain McCullum and Smith
Mumbai must contain Chennai openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith, because this pair has murdered bowlers in the tournament. While McCullum has hit 380 in 12 outings, Smith has raced to a whopping 535 in 14 games. Mumbai bowlers need to be extremely sharp to get rid of them cheaply.
5. Turn it like Bhajji
While most bowlers have been sent on a leather hunt, the veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh's economy rate has been mighty impressive. He has bowled 51 overs, given away 329 runs, taken 12 wickets and managed an economy rate of 6.45. Need one say more?