Friday, May 6, 2011

Invincible Mumbai.

In cricket winning is a habit. It is pretty much evident from the ongoing IPL that Mumbai Indians have learnt this habit well.

The team appears strong in most aspects. Tendulkar, Rayudu, R Sharma, Symmo and Pollard make it a formidable batting lineup. The induction of Suman in the 11 made it appear like a fortress. Lethal Malinga leading the pack, bowling looks secure with the support of Bhajji, Munaf, Pollard, Symmo and Nachim/Murtaza/Kulkarni. Also the fielding is top class. Adding to this the champ is making his presence felt in the department of captaincy too. As an icing in the cake, no matter home or away the crowd always stands by the little master.

Trillions of positives, Mumbai Indians beat most opposition morally even before a ball is bowled. Delivering on the field appears to be a meager formality to drive the last nail in the opposition coffin. So much at stake, Mumbai seem to be the firm favorites to clinch the title.

Now the question “Who can beat Mumbai Indians?” In my opinion, more than whom, how to beat Mumbai Indians would be interesting to ponder.

The basic approach to any game is to play by your strength more than opposition weakness. Sometimes when faced with such an intimidating opposition like MI, it is not a bad ploy to read into their weakness or otherwise study the games where another team overhauled them.

Though MI hardly give any room, there are still few weak areas that the opposition can take advantage.

Tendulkar’s opening partner. Though Jacobs, Satish or Blizzard is given full license to go after the bowling, lack of common sense cricket caused their downfall thus bringing No.3 early to the crease. In a way this proved to be a blessing in disguise for MI as the other batsman are getting decent outing with the bat. I’ve no doubts Suman will open sooner or later to fix the issue. For now, this is definitely a weak link for the MI.

Captaincy: Despite Tendulkar a good captain, he is still the safe captain, prefer to play by books. If teams could apply right pressure the code is bound to be cracked. Kochi Tuskers exhibited this perfectly by forcing Captain Tendulkar to make futile moves.

Bowling: If teams negate Malinga toe crashers, hold wickets and attack the other bowlers like Nachim/Pollard/Symmo or even Munaf, chances are good that Malinga and Bhajji will be pressurized to pick wickets. Odds are fine that they might crumble too.

Low and Slow Wickets: Shane Warne tamed MI on this tactics. The technique of Jacobs, Symmo and Pollard are likely to come under scanner on these type of wickets. When that happens the delivery has to come from the Master, Rayudu and Sharma. Against Royals every one of the batsman turned cropper.

Pacy, Bouncy, Seamy Wickets: Mumbai Indians are not tested on these types of wickets yet in the tournament. Considering Symmo not too active in international circuit, Pollard not too popular in Test cricket and Indians penchant to buckle up for pace and bounce, MI could be brought to earth on this tactics too.

Now what? You want me to name the team that has the ability to exploit the weakness of MI to perfection? 
Ok. I give you a clue. They play with yellow jerseys.

Gotcha !!!

Bottom Line: Any Team is invincible as long as we see them to be.

Cricket Lover

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