The last time the Mumbai IPL team took the field, it took on then league leaders Delhi and surprised them. Three days hence, when Mumbai again troop onto the picturesque Dr D.Y. Patil Sports stadium in Navi Mumbai, they would again be facing league leaders. This time the top team is Jaipur.
Led by Shaun Pollock in the anti-climactic absence of Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai seem to be charged up for the challenge.
“It is going to be a tough competition tomorrow,” Pollock said on Tuesday. “But we have home advantage as we are used to the pitch conditions. The home crowd really gets energy and confidence in our performance. The boys are very comfortable with the facilities available.”
Shane Warne, the Jaipur captain-and-coach, wasn’t willing to take Mumbai lightly, even if they have won just two matches and have been without Tendulkar.
“Mumbai look a decent team as they too are charged up,” he said. “With Sanath and other players in the top order they are still a dangerous side. We just want our momentum to carry on tomorrow.”
If Jaipur, who have won five of the six games they have played so far, are able to carry their momentum into Wednesday’s match, they will heavily rely on Pakistan new-ball bowler Sohail Tanvir. The left-arm bowler registered the best bowling figures in T20 cricket with six for 14 against Chennai on Monday.
“He was always a very good player and in the last match he proved it once again,” Warne said of his trump card.
Pollock was focused on his team’s performance.
“In T20, as a captain, you always have to be on the toes,” Pollock said. “I keep telling the boys to give their 120 per cent and have faith in themselves during pressure situations. A good catch or a brilliant run saved or a patient knock can turn the tables.”