Their campaign has been inconsistent so far and the task does not get any easier for former champions Deccan Chargers as they take on in-form Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
Kumar Sangakkara’s Chargers have been struggling to gel as a team and that has reflected in their roller-coaster run so far.
In five matches they have played so far, the 2009 champions have won twice while finishing on the losing side on three occasions.
But the Chargers go into the match as a confident unit after beating Delhi Daredevils in their previous outing, in which the batting came good for them.
The line-up does not exactly boast of established stars except for Kumar Sangakkara and to some extent Shikhar Dhawan.
But Sunny Sohal and Bharat Chipli have done a decent job in the past two outings to bring a semblance of balance to the Chargers’ batting.
As far as their bowling is concerned, the team would be hoping that South African pacer Dale Steyn and Manpreet Gony would continue their fine form. The duo may not have bagged too many wickets but have done the containing job which is also crucial in the Twenty20 format.
But Ishant Sharma, Daniel Christian and Amit Mishra will also have to get into the rhythm to cope with the onslaught that Mumbai is bound to unleash.
Led by the iconic Sachin Tendulkar, who incidentally turns 38 on match day, the last year’s runners-up have been in fantastic form, winning four of their five matches so far.
Mumbai’s batting has clicked very well with Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu and now Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma in fine form.
Rohit, who laid the platform for Mumbai’s competitive total of 164 with his superbly paced innings of 87 in 48 balls on Friday, said he would be aiming to make an impression in the IPL to force his way back into the national side.
“I am glad to make runs. I know I missed out on the World Cup. But it’s alright; things happened like that. I just need to keep my focus on. Don’t lose my heart and whenever I get my opportunity just (want to) go out and do my best,” said the youngster.
Mumbai’s bowling has been adequate, if not spectacular, with Lasith Malinga and Munaf Patel doing a good job along with Harbhajan Singh, who made quite a statement with a five-wicket haul against the Chennai Super Kings last night.
Though Ali Murtaza has been hit for runs, he’s also taken wickets and Abu Nechim bowled well when given a chance.
Mumbai, in fact, would be aiming to give Tendulkar a perfect 38th birthday gift by winning against the Deccan Chargers.
“It’s his birthday. We will try and win that one too. That will be nice,” said Harbhajan.
The teams (from):
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (c), Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Andrew Symonds, Davy Jacobs, James Franklin, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Aditya Tare, Ali Murtaza, Ambati Rayudu, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pawan Suyal, R Satish, Sarul Kanwar, Suryakumar Yadav, T Suman, Yuzvendra Singh Chahai.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (c), Ashish Reddy, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Akash Bhandari, Bharat Chipli, Daniel Christian, Kedar Devdhar, Shikhar Dhawan, Jean Paul Duminy, Manpreet Gony, Harmeet Singh, Ishank Jaggi, Michael Lumb, Chris Lynn, Ishan Malhotra, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ravi Teja, Jaydev Shah, Ishant Sharma, Sunny Sohal, Dale Steyn, Rusty Theron, Cameron White, Arjun Yadav.