The Mumbai Indians will play their second game of the Champions League T20 against the Trinidad and Tobago on Monday. The match will be played at Bangalore.
The depleted Mumbai side will go into the game with a stunning win to their name against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings, while Trinidad and Tobago will look to ensure that they can carry their winning momentum from the qualifiers into the main draw.
The Mumbai Indians were hit hard by the injuries before the start of the tournament but the rule that has been tweaked to allow them to have five international players in the tournament reeks of injustice. It has been debated in the cricketing circles and frankly, it is like allowing a side a lifeline because the players have not been able to maintain their fitness.
Not that Trinidad and Tobago would be thinking too much on those lines. They will go in as the best side from the qualifiers. Of course, they may look to change their approach for this game given that the pitch at Bangalore will make batting much easier and hence, the likes of Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree may not be as effective as they were in the previous games at Hyderabad. Instead, the Trinidad and Tobago side may look to attack the Mumbai batsmen with some raw pace.
Kieron Pollard will be the key for the side. He has been an experienced guy in the side and in the format of the game and needs to get going to ensure that a repeat of the previous game does not follow. The Mumbai Indians had slumped to 106 for seven, before a resurrection came about for them. Not always can they expect a Lasith Malinga or a Harbhajan Singh to play the sort of innings they did in the previous game and to prevent a repeat of it from happening, Pollard needs to bat higher.
Interestingly, Pollard is originally from the Trinidad and Tobago and when they had last got to the CLT20, he was responsible for them getting to the final of the tournament. Both will know a lot about each other and it should make the contest spicier.
Sachin Tendulkar’s presence in the dugout is an inspiration but more importantly it will help pull the crowds in and get the support for Mumbai. They may still not go into the game as favourites but confidence is a funny thing and may help the side start well.