On one side is the team that is currently occupying the last position on the points table. Having won only 1 match out of the 7 played (1 of which was rained out), the Deccan Chargers are riding high on their last victory less than three days ago. On the other hand, the Mumbai Indians, who started out as one of the favourites is down to the 7th position on the table, owing to 4 wins out of 8 matches played. And they are still nursing the wound of their last 37 runs loss against Delhi. Match 40 of the IPL 2012 will be the faceoff between two teams in equally difficult conditions: DC, who have not performed well but have recently received their second win and MI, whose season has been shaky, turning them from star players into a team itching for consistency.
Head to Head
The first four seasons of the IPL saw MI and DC come face to face eight times, with both teams winning 4 matches each. They have already played their first match of IPL 2012 at the DC home ground, Visakhapatnam. A match that held everyone’s breath till the last ball, it ended with a last minute, seemingly impossible victory for MI. They won by 5 wickets, with 0 balls to spare.
Players to watch out for
Shikhar Dhawan has had a successful series so far – two half centuries and a good strike rate. He was also the highest scorer for his team in their last confrontation against MI. He has been instrumental in all the teams that he is, and has been, a part of. MI would do good to focus some attention on their former team mate as he now faces them.
Dale Steyn has a striking record when it comes to taking wickets and has been an integral part of the Deccan Chargers’ bowling squad. He took 3 wickets in his last encounter with the MI and this pace bowler, whose speed is complemented only by his precision and ferocity, will be a player that MI needs to look out for.
JP Duminy is a batsman and fielder with immense capability that has, to some extent, remained unleashed in the series so far. Except for 223 against the Rajasthan Royals, Duminy has not had a strike rate that called for much ado. However, as Deccan Chargers’ X Factor, his talent remains undeniable; the only question being whether he can live up to his potential against MI today.
Ambati Rayudu, called “a special talent” by Mumbai Indians’ current skipper, has an impressive track record with his current team. In their last face off against the Deccan Chargers however, he did not give much of a notable performance. But with momentum gained as the series continued, he has become a player DC might want to pay attention to.
Lasith Malinga, whose departure due to injury left thousands disappointed, is back to continue playing for MI. Currently on second position in contention for the Purple Cap, Malinga has been a consistent record breaker and maker. His absence had been felt in the last few matches, but he’s returned with renewed energy. DC would be wise to keep their eye on this re-energised explosive force that could cost them some important players.
Kieron Pollard has been on a bit of a see-saw this season. This hard hitting batsman might not have lived up to expectations in his batting, but has come through for his team on multiple occasions by picking required wickets. Mumbai Indians’ X Factor, Pollard might become an important game changer if he comes to the match in full form.
While MI will be looking to recover from their recent thrashing, DC will be intent on extending their recent victory. While the Mumbai Indians seem to be stronger on paper, the Deccan Chargers’ ‘nothing to lose’ attitude could turn the match in their favour. This is one match we will just have to watch to see who triumphs.