In the first two editions of the Indian Premier League, the Mumbai Indians were struggling to find their feet and that was reflected through the average turnout at the stadium.
However, the third edition has seen a change in form and the team’s home games have attracted fans.
The Sachin Tendulkar-led side will be playing an away game here on Sunday against defending champions, the Deccan Chargers. That’s because the venue, the DY Patil Stadium, is a home ground of the Chargers after Hyderabad was ruled out for IPL-III.
But if the interest in the game is any indication, it could be the “hosts” that could end up feeling outsiders in Navi Mumbai.
Add to it, the humiliating loss against the Royals on Friday and the Chargers would have their task cut out on Sunday.
Two defeats in five games should not be a cause for pressing the panic button yet but Yusuf Pathan and Michael Lumb showed that the Chargers do not have enough depth in bowling. It would be interesting to see for how long coach Darren Lehmann and captain Adam Gilchrist continue with the medium pace of Chaminda Vaas instead of Kemar Roach’s raw pace.
In the last edition, it was the pace of Fidel Edwards that set up the stage for RP Singh to strike in most matches. Even though Vaas has been bowling well with the new ball this season, death bowling remains a worry.
Lehmann had said after the two home games in Cuttack that they wanted to give Roach time for acclimatisation and having been in India for over a week now, the West Indies pacer could start against the Mumbai Indians.
On the other hand, the Mumbai Indians have everything going for them. Shikhar Dhawan has been complementing Tendulkar well at the top and the bowlers have been successfully working to a plan.
But then, this IPL has time and again proved that form and past results mean nothing.