|Scorecard:||Mumbai Indians v Sydney Sixers|
|Event:||Champions League 2012/13|
DateLine: 22nd October 2012
Mumbai Indians v Sydney Sixers
Champions League 2012
Their title defense having ended early with only a whimper, Mumbai Indians would look to salvage some of their battered reputation with at least a win when they take on Sydney Sixers in an inconsequential Group B match of the Champions League Twenty20 today.
Mumbai Indians came into the tournament as one of the favourites with a star-studded squad but they have failed to live up to their reputation, losing two matches and one game being abandoned due to rain. Group toppers Sydney Sixers, along with Highveld Lions, have cashed in onto the disappointing show by Mumbai and the other IPL team in the group, Chennai Super Kings to qualify for the semifinals with three wins on the trot.
The Sixers will look to play seriously, as momentum is everything in T20 cricket and the absence of Shane Watson, one of the best all rounders in the world, is quite a blow for the Sixers. They will have to find a replacement quickly, they have just one match before the semis. The Mumbai Indians will be more relaxed, knowing that they are out of the competition, and that makes them a very serious threat as they can play without fear. This is going to be one of the highlight matches of the group stage with both teams having a lot of class players.
Sydney Sixers, meanwhile, would need to guard against complacency if they want to maintain their winning momentum going into the last four stage. Sixers have looked formidable in the tournament so far and with the presence of Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Steven Smith, Micheal Lumb in their ranks, the side possesses a strong batting line-up.
Their main strength, however, remains the bowling which saw them restricting Yorkshire to a meager 96. They then allowed Lions to score a modest 137 for nine. Mitchell Starc has been brilliant in the last 6 months, he has taken plenty of wickets and is defiantly in contention for a test place. Mitchell Starc has 9 wickets to his name and has been the standout with the ball for the Sydney Sixers. He is the 2nd highest wicket taker behind Azhar Mahmood who has 10 wickets and if he can continue his great form Sydney will be the favourite to take the title with the team they have.
During that six run loss against Chennai Super Kings, Dinesh Karthik top scored for Mumbai with a blistering knock of 74 from just 45 deliveries. While West Indian Dwayne Bravo has managed to get some runs up the order, Mumbai have been hugely let down by Sachin Tendulkar's lack of form as the veteran batsman could manage only 16, 7 and 2 from the three matches he had played so far. Sachin Tendulkar has struggled over the last 12 months and he doesn’t know when he will retire but he needs a big score to prove critics wrong. He would be craving to amend the mistake of getting run-out awkwardly and will be pushing to perform in the last match of his CLT20 2012 appearance.
The Indian outfit would also hope that the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Kieron Pollard, who have all shown their potential in one match or the other in the tournament so far, stand up together and lend some solidity to the middle-order.
MI's bowling unit, with the exception of pacer Lasith Malinga, has completely looked off-colour and if Mumbai want to have any chance of registering a face-saving win today, the bowlers will have to fire in unison.
This could be a difficult game to predict even though Sydney have a 100% record in the Champions League so far while Mumbai have just two points from a washed out match to show for their efforts. It might be easy to conclude that the Sixers will win it easily but that may not be the case.
Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Richard Levi, Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Thisara Perera, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Dhawal Kulkarni, Suryakumar Yadav.
Sydney Sixers: Brad Haddin, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Michael Lumb, Nathan McCullum, Nic Maddinson, Ian Moran, Peter Nevill, Steve O'Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Dominic Thornely, Shane Watson.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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