Thu, 26 May 2011 17:22:45 GMT

Odds favour Royal Challengers Bangalore against Mumbai Indians

Chennai: The Mumbai Indians need to look back to draw inspiration as they gird up for a clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore here on Friday to earn the right to challenge Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League final.


Odds favour Royal Challengers Bangalore against Mumbai Indians

Having won eight of their first 10 games, Mumbai Indians were flying high, but were brought down to earth with a string of mediocre performances that belied all expectations as they eventually scrambled to the third spot at the conclusion of the league phase.

Sachin Tendulkar's Mumbai side was an inspired unit at the start of the competition as they put together a sequence of magical displays, but the Indian summer heat seemed to have dried up the early enthusiasm that had marked them out as the side to beat.

Instead, Mumbai resembles a team that is creaking and groaning under the weight of expectations with the performance graph of their celebrated foreign stars such as "slinger" Lasit Malinga, Kieron Pollard and Andrew Symonds dipping dramatically in the latter half of the 14-match league phase.

In fact, twice Mumbai failed to score even 100 runs, with 94 for eight against Rajasthan Royals and 87 all out at Mohali versus the Kings XI Punjab. Added to that is the suspect middle-order where the likes of Ambatti Rayudu and Rohit Sharma have not sustained their early form despite the odd bright innings.

Presently, Mumbai appear unsure and unsettled with frequent shuffling of their batting and bowling order. Tendulkar, despite being one of the leading run-getters in the current IPL, has not stayed long enough to guide his team at the death.

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