Tendulkar will back at the top of the order for Mumbai Indians when they host Kings XI Punjab, on Sunday, April 22, 2012, at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
That should bring cheer to a side that collapsed abjectly to be 92 all out in their last game, against DD. Apart from Tendulkar’s presence , a tepid Kings XI attack should ensure that such a collapse doesn’t recur, and the Mumbai outfit should revel in their home conditions. While the batting has sufficient firepower to worry the best of attacks, the team management will be looking for more consistency from the top order. Tendulkar could play the anchor role, while allowing the likes of Levi and Sharma to attack. MI’s bowling, by contrast, has been arguably the best in the business, this season. Apart from the permanently threat in the form of Malinga, rival batsmen have had to contend with consistent Patel, who has been among the wickets, with Pollard, Ojha and Harbhajan lending adequate support.
Gilchrist’s absence through injury has been a body blow for Kings XI and the poor form of Valthaty hasn’t helped. That said, the ingress of Azhar Mahmood has been like a breath of fresh air. The aggressive all-rounder’s quick-fire 43 in the slog overs helped set a competitive target against RCB and the hosts on the night nearly pulled off an unlikely win against their much stronger rivals. They will need more of that against MI, and Mahmood could find himself promoted up the order. Praveen Kumar’s decent showing with the ball against RCB was another bright lining and the India bowler’s performance could be key to Punjab’s fortunes in a match they are not expected to win except perhaps by their most die-hard supporters.
MI’s probable eleven: Tendulkar, Levi, Sharma, Rayudu, Karthik, Pollard, Franklin, Harbhajan Singh, Ojha, Malinga, Patel.
KXIP’s probable eleven: Valthaty, Saini, Marsh, Mandeep Singh, Hussey, Mahmood, Miller, Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Harmeet Singh, Awana.
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.