The Telegraph
Sunday , April 27 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Time for MI to step up

Sharjah: It’s Delhi DareDevils best chance to notch up their second win in IPL VII when they square off against Mumbai Indians in a battle between the bottom-rankers, here, on Sunday.

Both DareDevils and Mumbai Indians have bungled this season despite being strong units on paper.

The DareDevils did manage to cross the line once, though, beating the Kolkata Knight Riders. But for the champions, there couldn’t have been a worse start to their title defence.

Of course, there’s still a long way to go in the tournament, but losing all of their first three matches is the last thing Mumbai Indians would have wanted.

It’s batting that has ailed Mumbai Indians the most so far. Though in patches, but their bowlers have still tried to keep the team in the game, unlike the batsmen who just haven’t showed enough character. Maybe it’s time Mumbai Indians start looking beyond Michael Hussey and bring in Ben Dunk since the former has looked completely out of sorts in the three matches.

The explosive Kieron Pollard, too, hasn’t been able to deliver. Now whether it’s because he has just recovered from injury or for the simple reason that he’s sorted out, remains to be seen.

With two big names unable to contribute, pressure is on captain Rohit Sharma and New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson to do the bulk of the scoring. Rohit is amongst runs, while Corey too showed in the previous game, versus the Super Kings, that he is slowly getting into his groove.

On the other hand, losing the crucial moments has been a major reason behind the DareDevils’ dismal show so far. This was evident particularly in the reversals against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Hyderabad Sunrisers.

Besides, they haven’t been able to perform as a unit with batsmen and bowlers not complementing each other’s performances.

Captain Kevin Pietersen’s return was a boost, but he wasn’t too comfortable with his timing, which reduced the DareDevils scoring rate against the Sunrisers the other day.