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Chance to iron flaws

Mohali's Monday's game will not cause them much concern as they take on Rahul Dravid's men, the most hapless and helpless looking side. Subhash Rajta reports.

cricket Updated: May 12, 2008 03:23 IST
Subhash Rajta

Mohali's winning streak was beginning to look too good to last. Finally, the spectacular run, during which they won five matches on the trot, came to a grinding halt on Saturday. However, ahead of Monday's game it wouldn't have caused much concern in the Mohali camp. For, up next at home are Bangalore — the most hapless and helpless looking side. It would be tough for any side not to fancy their chances against Rahul Dravid's men.

Nevertheless, Mohali would do well to address certain grey areas, which had been camouflaged by the long winning streak, but laid bare in the loss to Chennai. The home team's bowling has a pretty good look about it, but they have often struggled with the fifth bowler.

Fortunately, Pathan and Sreesanth had been giving them really good start, with Piyush Chawla also coming good more often than not, making up for the occasional slip in the middle overs. However, the other bowlers would come under a lot of pressure if these two have a bad day, and it would be interesting to see how they cope in that situation. The forced absence of Kumar Sangakkara due to side strain could hurt them too, as it did against Chennai. The prolific Sri Lankan has been the top run-getter and his presence gives batting a solid look. Ramnaresh Sarwan, his replacement, hasn't been as fluent as Sangakkara. He looked quite out of sorts in the last match. The team management would surely be praying fervently that Sangakkara recovers as early as possible.

Besides, skipper Yuvraj Singh, too, is due for some runs; the dashing left-hander is yet to play any of his trademark blistering knocks, though he has looked in good touch more often than not.

So, there are obviously some chinks in Mohali’s armour, but the million-dollar question is: can Bangalore rise out of their current mess and exploit them? They lost to Mohali only about a week back in their own backyard in a rather one-sided contest, followed by another defeat, though pretty close, at the hands of Kolkata. So, after the almost continuous defeats and the controversy that threatened to rip the team, for Bangalore it's now more a case of being mentally ready to fight it out than worry about their batting or bowling. Does this team has enough grit and guts left in it to put behind all bad memories and make a last ditch effort to salvage some pride? The odds look stacked against them, but then one never knows. Sometimes adversity brings out the best in men.