Mumbai look to make most of second chance


Thanks to the format of the IPL, Mumbai Indians still have a chance to qualify for the final.

Finishing second at the end of the group stages ensured that they would get two chances to qualify for the final. So, despite losing to Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1, they will face Rajasthan Royals as their second opportunity to make the final. Chennai have already qualified for the final.

Although Mumbai have played some great cricket this season, consistency hasn’t really been their forte, and injuries have only added to the agony. Sachin Tendulkar missed the last game due to an injury as did Dhawal Kulkarni. And Munaf Patel clearly looked out of touch as he replaced Kulkarni.

Tendulkar though looks set to be back and Aditya Tare would in all likelihood sit out. “He is recovering well and will play hopefully,” Dwayne Smith said.

Mitchell Johnson has been instrumental in MI reaching the play- offs and the team would hope that he finds his rhythm back. Most importantly, it is the batting which let Mumbai down against Chennai. Apart from Smith, none of the batsmen looked comfortable chasing down CSK’s total of 192. And in this case, the biggest drawback is Kieron Pollard. MI would hope that Dinesh Karthik and skipper Rohit Sharma too regain the form.

For Rajasthan, it will be all about continuing the winning momentum. Skipper Rahul Dravid knows the conditions in Kolkata well. While Shane Watson has done the bulk of the scoring so far, it was the perfect time for Brad Hodge to hit form, against SRH, and the Royals management will hope that he can carry on from where he left off. The team will also hope that Ajinkya Rahane gives them a good start at the top of the innings.

The bowling department though looks good for Rajasthan as they have James Faulkner leading the attack with 26 wickets from 12 games to be the second in the wicket- takers’ list.

And wily Siddharth Trivedi’s change of pace can be effective on the Eden wicket.

“I don’t like to compare games and would like to take tomorrow's match as any other game as it will put undue pressure otherwise,” said Smith.

“As a team we do know where we went wrong and will look to rectify the mistakes we made against CSK.”

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