Mumbai desperate to halt losing streak

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What goes up mu­­st come down. This sayi­ng seems to have caught u­­p with Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Indian Prem­i­er League. Sitting pretty at the top of the table at one st­age with 16 points from 10 matches, the Sachin Tend­­u­­l­­kar-led side slumped to the fo­urth position, suffering a stunning hat-trick of defeats and now they face home fav­­ourites Kolkata Knight Riders in the last league clash here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

A victory over Mumbai In­dians for Kolkata Knight Ri­ders would enable them o­­c­cupy the second place in t­­he table and brighten their chances for a berth in the final. Led by Gautam Gambhir, KKR have been consist­­e­­nt in their performance so f­­ar. A formidable spin-att­­a­­­ck has proved to be their main strength. The spin trio of Iqbal Abdulla (15 wickets from 13 matches), Shakib Al­­-Hasan (9/5) and Yusuf P­­­a­­­than (13/13) have been giving match-winning performances.

KKR have also proved th­emselves in the batting de­partment. Jacques Kall­i­s, sk­ipper Gautam Gambhir, lo­cal boy Manoj Tiwary have lived up to the expectations with the willow. Only Yusuf Pathan needs to justify his reputation as big-hitting all-rounder. Home conditions, especially the slow and low Eden track and a passionate home crowd is sure to provide added advantage to Gauti and his team.

Mumbai wi­­ll depend m­­­a­­inly on Sachin Te­­­ndulkar, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Ray­­­u­­du and bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga. Though th­­e­­y have big-hitting Keiron Pollard in their rank, it is doubtful whether he would be successful on this track.

The main problem for M­­­umbai Indians has been the middle-order, which has fa­­­­­iled to fire once the top ru­­n-ge­­tters — Tendulkar, A­­­­mbati Ra­­yudu and Rohit S­­­harma — have been sent to pavilion. “There will be some changes, because its a different surface which requires different planning,” Sachin Tendulkar has already expr­essed his concern.


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