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Mumbai aim to hit back hard

Sachin Tendulkar perhaps can’t tolerate even the minutest blemish on his glowing cricketing cloak. The Mumbai Indians skipper dropped a skier against South Australia on Tuesday; and, on Wednesday, he was busy taking high catches, trying to iron out the flaw that caused him to misjudge that catch

cricket Updated: Sep 16, 2010 01:27 IST
Subhash Rajta

Sachin Tendulkar perhaps can’t tolerate even the minutest blemish on his glowing cricketing cloak. The Mumbai Indians skipper dropped a skier against South Australia on Tuesday; and, on Wednesday, he was busy taking high catches, trying to iron out the flaw that caused him to misjudge that catch.

While the skipper tried to sort out the fielding problems, it was surprising to not find the entire team turn up for at least a light fielding session on Wednesday. The management had apparently made it an optional session.

The thinking behind keeping the session optional could be to take players’ mind off cricket after two consecutive losses. That’s fine, as it does help to refresh the mind, but a light fielding session would have done no harm, especially when Tendulkar, though not making it an excuse, said the team found it difficult to adjust to the ground conditions. “On various occasions, if you see, the players were surprised with how quickly the ball had come to them. In my case, I felt that I was very much under the ball, but it swung away from me. I also thought that the ball was at times quicker,” he said.

Fielding though, isn’t the only concern the Mumbai Indians are grappling with right now. Their bowlers, except for Lasith Malinga, are struggling to find the right line and length. On Tuesday for instance, they just couldn’t get their yorkers right, ending up offering juicy full tosses. “I think Zaheer was brilliant to start with, but he slipped a bit in his last over. He’s coming back after a break so it is all right,” said Tendulkar.

Faced with a must-win situation, they must be thanking their stars that they have underdogs Guyana up next. Nevertheless, they will need to raise the bar against the obvious underdogs as the latter, too, are desperate to make amends for their poor showing in the first game. “We are far more capable as a team and individuals than we came across in the first match. We are ready for Mumbai Indians,” said Guyana’s Jonathan Foo.