With seven wins in as many matches, Mumbai Indians would look to remain invincible at home when they take on Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium for their final Pepsi Indian Premier League match today.
The hosts couldn’t have asked for a better opposition than Royals to achieve this incredible feat. Royals made Jaipur their fortress by winning all their eight home games. On Monday, Mumbai Indians proved that they are not only capable of defending any total at home, but also chase them. Chasing for the first time at home this season after losing the toss, Mumbai in the end beat Sunrisers Hyderabad, thanks to some breathtaking strokes by Kieron Pollard.
Royals may have remained unbeaten at home (Jaipur), but they have been poor travellers this season, winning only two away matches out of seven so far. And Mumbai would look to further expose this weakness when Royals come to MI’s den. However, as far as qualification for the playoff is concerned, both teams are virtually through.
The fight will be for breaking into the top two. With MI and Royals both on 20 points, better net run rate of MI (+0.636) puts them ahead of Royals (+0.506) at the moment. MI head coach John Wright too acknowledged Dravid’s captaincy. “I think Rahul is very well researched and very well organised along with Paddy Upton and their group.
They have been playing really intelligent cricket. I don't think it is any accident that they are where they are. I think they have shown great flexibility during this tournament and the way they have picked their team and made various changes to their batting order, they play smart cricket," Wright told www.iplt20.com.
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar, who had retired hurt against Sunrisers Hyderabad, preferred to stay away from the optional training session yesterday. It is learnt that Tendulkar sprained his left wrist after putting away a full toss for a six. Although the injury doesn’t look bad, there wasn’t any official confirmation whether the maestro would play today.
> Dwayne Smith gives a blistering start
> Tendulkar anchors the innings
> Pollard repeats the carnage
> Mitchell Johnson removes Shane Watson cheaply
> Team settles scores with Rajasthan
> Ajinkya Rahane maintains his good run
> Shane Watson repeats his phenomenal show
> Brad Hodge plays a cameo
> James Faulkner makes early breakthroughs
> Team keeps the winning momentum going
Live on TV: MI vs RR on Set Max and Sony Six, 8pm