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It may not be very clear how Haryana pacer Mohit Sharma landed with Chennai Super Kings. What is clear is he impressed with the team last year before being rewarded with the India cap. Ishwar Pandey is in a similar situation this year.
The talented Madhya Pradesh paceman led the Ranji charts in 2012-13 but controversially did not get to play a game on India’s tour of New Zealand, this despite the visitors failing to win a game on the tour.
However, Pandey is now considered good enough to open the bowling by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who as India skipper had said two months ago in New Zealand that the bowler was not yet a finished product to play for India.
On Friday, Pandey didn’t strike early, and despite wickets from fellow new ball bowler, Ben Hilfenhaus, the initiative was with Mumbai Indians. Skipper Rohit Sharma (50, 41 b, 3x4, 2x6) promoted Corey Anderson one slot ahead of him to No 3 and the New Zealand all-rounder (39, 31 b, 3x4, 1x6) responded with some lusty blows.
But Mohit Sharma’s brilliant four-wicket haul conceding little helped CSK pull the innings back. The 84-run third wicket partnership was threatening when Ravichandran Ashwin effected a superb direct hit to run out Anderson. Rohit got to his half-century before Hilfenhaus removed him, and Mohit Sharma then claimed hitters Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu and Harbhajan Singh one after another.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Mithun Manhas, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Mike Hussey, Aditya Tare, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Correy Anderson, CM Gautam, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga.