How fortunes change! MI, coasting along nicely and looking like the strongest unit , came crashing down in an emphatic manner against RCB (who by the way have taken pole position)! KKR, on the other hand, were determined to dig new lows, pathetically losing to RR , who choke-slammed them without a fight.
Now , both teams meet up at Mumbai, where 2 stalwarts of our times are the captains of the respective team. The God of the Off-side vs THE GOD of ALL SIDES!
Oh boy. I got my fingers burnt royally by pronouncing them as a complete bowling line up. They were complete alright….complete FAIL in the last game. Zaheer Khan is the only one who can hold his head up high (while also contributing with the bat). Malinga was dealt with ease by the classy Jacque, and Bravo, Pollard and Bhajji taken behind the woodshed and given a trashing down, old school.
They should however not panic, and stick to the same squad , and hope for a better game plan.
Murali Karthik has been like the chinese shopkeeper, miserly and effective. Mathews, after his whirlwind start in the first couple of games, seems to have cooled off a bit, and he needs his ass reignited. Ishant strangely seems to be more interested in sledging the batsmen after bowling wides rather than giving the side breakthroughs. Bond has been ok, but he has is task cut out today, against the maestros. With some injuries in the squad, there’s really not much of shuffling that KKR can do either.
MI : 2.5/5
The batting looked outsmarted by Kumble and his men, and exposed some of the weaknesses. However, it’s still a formidable one. Without Rayudu , Dhawan could get a look in today, and I get the feeling that Pollard might be bumped up a notch in the line up. Tiwary was treated to some classical spinhunt by Kumble, and Karthik will test him a little more. Sanath’s form is a serious cause for concern. He is chipping in quite usefully with the ball, and even if he manages to stay on for 5-6 overs, Mumbai can reap the benefits.
1 change – Dhawan in for Rayudu
What a shocker of a display in the last match! When the run-rate demanded a get along fast, KKR moved around like an old nanny in a retirment home, even slower. Ganguly’s form has been wretched, and his presence in the middle makes even his closest fans cringe with fear. He has really not gotten used to this format, and needs to quickly find form. After shining in 1 game, Tiwary has gone back to his w-t-f-are-you-doing status. Shah has been ok, but Gayle will come in today and be expected to provide fireworks. Hodge and Gayle to open, and Tiwary gets pushed down the order. Pujara looked good for a bit before he decided he deciding to go on the Dilshan route nad improvise, resulting in a combination of UGLY and FAIL.
Gayle in for Shah.
KKR bowling vs Mumbai Batting : Slight advantage Mumbai
Bond will definitely spell trouble for Sachin and friends. He has been too hot to handle in the past , and Ganguly will be hoping for some results. Expect Karthik to test the middle order of Mumbai and choke them for runs and cause mistakes. Ask Ishant to shut his big mouth up, give him 50 bucks and ask him to get a hair cut, and just bowl.
Mumbai , on the other hand , need a Jayasuriya special, and he should relax and stay on for 5-6 overs. With Gaylestorm in the forecast, Mumbai need thier big guns to fire. Move Pollard up to take the 2-down position and give him more time to inflict some damage.
Mumbai bowling vs KKR batting: Slight Advantage Mumbai
A serious dosage of Gayle is needed for KKR to get their confidence back up. The lower order batsmen simply look incapable of playing T20 the way it is meant to be played, and Gayle needs to show them how it’s done. Ganguly should move himself up the order and open with Gayle and observe from the other side, and also exploit the PowerPlay.
For Mumbai,if Gayle’s in, get him out asap. For that, you need to use Slinglinga and Bhajji to keep him unsettled. Zaheer is quality, and he can come in for a bowling change and be a handful for the middle order. He has been taking wickets in his 2nd spell, so he might actually be good with a slightly older ball.
After a furious start going 7-0, lady luck caught up with MTJAG and brutally showed the truth of life: you’re not as good as you think you are. We now stand at a dismal 7-4- shocker by our standards. Special thanks go to KKR, CSK, MI, and DD for their choke jobs.
However, we are men , and hence naturally dumb and stupid, and will continue to make predictions.
Mumbai for the glory!