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Saturday, May 3, 2014

too many expert advice .......... MI wins at last - beats untamed KXIP

IPL is fun for it produces unexpected results ................... yesterday at Ranchi, it was  India's first IPL match this season and the first six overs offered ample evidence of Ranchi's hospitality to spinners.  Shakib Al Hasan almost had Dwayne Smith stumped in the third over, but the third umpire was not required because Nigel Llong was busy signalling dead ball. A confused Shakib and Gautam Gambhir rounded on the on-field umpire who informed them that the bowler's towel had slipped from his waist during his run-up. Shakib had to bear with his misfortune for two more balls before he had Smith leg before in the same over.

Today, MI – opened with Zaheer and Bumrah............. a boy with an awkward action,  who at 19 got the opportunity  to play with Sachin, Ricky Ponting and Pollard………..

 it is Jasprit Jasbirsingh Bumrah from Gujarat, bowls right arm medium with an indescribable action ~ and that was last year... in his debut match against RCB – over 5 -  RCB were 7 with Gayle 3 off 7;  he bowled  short and wide, was  slammed over cover for 4; 2nd again went through cover; 3rd  a minor respite; 4th again banged over cover for another 4  .. just as you thought it to be a nightmare of a start – he  landed poorly almost outside the crease.  Off the fifth, an incoming delivery trapped Virat Kohli and with  first ball of 7th over had Mayank Agarwal too… today he went wicketless ........

Mumbai Indians entered Pepsi IPL 2014 with a huge amount of expectation that comes with being the defending champions.  They failed miserably thus far, winless in their five games in the UAE, today they faced table toppers Punjab. After conceding 168 runs to KXIP, MI’s chase was fuelled by the late-innings heroics of Kieron Pollard and Aditya Tare, who took their team home with five balls to spare. Earlier, George Bailey won the toss and decided to bat first at Wankhede Stadium. MI must be ruing their decision  of not retaining Glenn Maxwell, whom they spotted last year and paid a hefty price .... now after 6 matches – he holds the Orange cap with 345 runs – next is Dwaye Smith with 256; closely followed by Brendon McCullum 249 (both CSK); next comes Ajinka Rahane 182 and Duminy 173 – none from MI in that list.  The bowing honours purple cap is held by Mohit Sharma [after 6 matches] 11 wickets; Ravindra Jadeja 10; Sunil Narine, Lasith Malinga and Sandeep Sharma are all with 9 wickets – are the top 5. Sandeep has played 2 matches less than others.

Here are some excerpts of an article in Cricinfo by G. Nagaraj which makes very interesting reading :  Sachin Tendulkar stood behind the dressing room door in Dubai, shadow-practising strokes he once played in the middle. Out in the centre, Kieron Pollard was trying hard - eventually in vain - to stabilise the Mumbai Indians' middle order against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final match of the IPL's UAE leg. How sorely Mumbai have missed Tendulkar's calming presence in the XI this year. But, if we dare ask, is Tendulkar causing a distraction with his presence in the dressing room? The batsman had announced his retirement from the IPL last year, but the franchise appointed him as an icon. In addition to being the franchise's brand ambassador, Tendulkar is also around during the team's training sessions.  Tendulkar, however, is not the only great player on the Mumbai coaching roaster. Anil Kumble is the chief mentor, John Wright is the head coach, Jonty Rhodes is the fielding coach and, recently, Ricky Ponting joined as consultant. The stars are followed by a second line of assistant coaches, which includes former India allrounder Robin Singh.

Little wonder then that a member of another franchise's coaching staff mockingly said that Mumbai's coaching line-up looked better than their playing XI after five straight defeats this season. Is there a possibility this collection of greats in the dressing room, all mighty thinking heads, may also be intimidating and distracting for some of the younger players?  There are three sets of players in the Mumbai squad. The first is a senior one, comprising Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Michael Hussey and Lasith Malinga. The second is made up of slightly more experienced hands, like Rohit Sharma, Pollard and Ambati Rayudu, and then the rookies.

~ with all of them MI at last tasted a victory. Mumbai Indians 170 for 5 (Rohit 39, Anderson 35, Gautam 33, Pollard 28*) beat Kings XI Punjab 168 for 5 (Saha 59*, Maxwell 45) by five wickets ... that one handed pull by Kieron Pollard and his smashing Johnson revealed it all.   Mumbai Indians needed 41 off the last three overs but Kieron Pollard and Aditya Tare catapulted their side home with five deliveries to spare and ended Kings XI Punjab's victorious five-game run.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

3rd May 2014 @ 08.45 pm.
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