Defending champions Mumbai Indians are set to begin their title defence on Sunday, October 14, against Highveld Lions.
MI would want to guard against complacency against a side that beat them in the first edition of the tournament in 2008 and that has grown in stature since. Boasting few known cricketing names such as Alviro peterson, Dirk Nannes and Sohail Tanvir, Lions would be hoping to repeat the upset they accomplished four years ago.
MI have a formidable batting line up with the likes of Kieron Pollard, Sachin Tendulkar and Richard Levi in their ranks though Levi’s form in the recently concluded world cup was not very encouraging. Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma in the middle order give the batting an enviable solidity. Tendulkar in particular would want to prove a point or two to shut up his carping critics ahead of the England team’s arrival for a test series in India.
MI’s bowling led by the irrepressible Lasith Malinga has other wicket takers in skipper Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Thisara Perera.
MI could also consider including Dwayne Smith who can bat and bowl. Interestingly, MI have an embarrassment of riches in overseas players and left arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson could play a role at some time during the tournament.
Lions will rely on the guile of Tanvir, with the new ball to neutralise MI’s batting advantage. Tanvir if you remember was the hero of Rajasthan Royals’ title winning bid in IPL 1. He will be accompanied by paceman Nannes who has the speed to rattle the best batsmen.
Home advantage will be Lions’ main ally in Sunday’s game and the likes of de Bruyn and Gulam Bodi know the local conditions well, having played plenty of domestic T20 games here. Having said that, MI would be keen not to lose to the same team twice and Lions can expect to be at the receiving end of the hunt, on Sunday.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
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.