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The best foot forward

cricket Updated: Sep 24, 2011 00:11 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
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The Mumbai Indians may be missing a few titans due to injuries, still their CLT20 contest against defending champions Chennai Super Kings could bring smiles on the sponsors’ faces.

Having said so, both sides have issues to iron out before they lock horns on Saturday.

While MS Dhoni’s side is battling fatigue with some of the key members joining the squad straight after busy international schedules, Mumbai have a long injury list with skipper Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and Munaf Patel being ruled out.

Skipper Harbhajan Singh however sees this as an opportunity to prove his leadership skills. “We have problems as far injuries go, but this is also an opportunity for me and the others to raise their hands and accept responsibility,” said the off-spinner.

On whether Mumbai have an advantage because of the organisers allowing them the cushion of an extra overseas player, Harbhajan said, “I am not complaining at all. We lost some good players to injuries, so if we are given an experienced player as a replacement, I will take it.”

Managing fatigue
The Super Kings are the defending champions, but coach, Stephen Fleming, is not complacent. Managing fatigue is crucial as three key players, including Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Mike Hussey, have been playing international cricket.

“They are professional sportspersons and should be able to do that and the key is to save energy in these hot conditions,” said Fleming.

There was relief for the Super Kings as the CLT20 council approved their request for a replacement to Tim Southee. Sri Lankan pacer Nuwan Kulasekara will take his place.