All hell broke loose when Mumbai last played Mohali in the latter’s backyard. From player to spectator, everyone still remembers ‘Slapgate’.
The two teams square off once again on Wednesday. There is curiosity whether both teams have buried the incident or bad blood remains.
If Sachin Tendulkar is to be believed, it’s forgotten and forgiven and the players are just focussing on the game.
“As far as I am concerned, it’s a closed chapter,” he said.
Tendulkar, however, couldn’t brush aside questions of Shaun Pollock’s fitness and Dwayne Bravo’s departure with the same nonchalance. Pollock, the lynchpin in Mumbai’s renaissance, didn’t play the last match against Hyderabad and didn’t go flat out in the nets on Tuesday owing to an injury.
“We haven’t decided on him yet; we will assess his fitness tomorrow before the match,” said Tendulkar.
The Mumbai skipper also sounded concerned at the absence of Bravo, who had to leave for the West Indies for the series with Australia.
“It’s tough when you lose someone like Bravo. He could bat and bowl and is a brilliant fielder. But we now have Dwayne Smith and Andre Nel. Both of them are pretty talented.”
As for the six-match winning streak, Tendulkar said they were confident but not over confident. “One has to begin from scratch in every match. We won’t take anything for granted,” he said.
Yuvraj Singh, on the other hand, looked full of confidence. Asked if Mumbai would have an edge following their unbeaten six-match streak, he pointed out that Mohali had won seven of their last eight games.
“And didn’t Mumbai lose four games before winning the next six?” he asked.
Reminded of the Sachin-Jayasuriya threat, the flamboyant lefthander said he was more worried about what would happen if Shaun Marsh and James Hopes got going.
But after jesting, said: “They are a tough team, but we would put in our best as usual to come out winners.”