Mumbai: Upbeat after a morale-lifting victory over table-toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians will look for an easy ride when they will take on Kings XI Punjab in game 41 of IPL 6 at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
Mumbai outclassed RCB by 58 runs in their last encounter to register their second straight win after two successive losses and got their campaign back on track. Mumbai have 10 points and are fourth in the points tally. Captain Ricky Ponting dropped himself from the playing XI and gave the charge to Rohit Sharma, who led his team to a second win in the tournament.
Things seem to be working out well for Mumbai after the out-of-form Ponting made way for West Indies allrounder Dwayne Smith, who has scored two fifties in four games and also delivered with the ball by taking two wickets in the comprehensive win over RCB. Mumbai's batting has a settled look now and have delivered brilliantly at their three home games by rattling up scores of 209, 194 and 183 against Delhi Daredevils, RCB and Pune Warriors respectively.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Mumbai's domestic cricket star, who guided Mumbai to their 40th title in the Ranji Trophy this year, played his first match of the IPL 6 on Saturday and contributed with a three-wicket burst. With Smith and Harbhajan Singh, who delivered the knockout blow by sending back dangerman Chris Gayle, also coming to the party Mumbai did not even need to use the left-arm slow skills of Pragyan Ojha. The likes of Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson present a big challenge to Punjab on a bouncy Wankhede track.
On the other hand, the Adam Gilchrist-led team are coming into the game after being outsmarted by defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders and victory over Mumbai would increase their points tally to 10. Punjab are currently sixth in the points table.
Their batting line-up needs to put up a far better display against the likes of Malinga, Johnson and Harbhajan. The visitors bowling attack too looks a bit weak, especially in the spin department, barring the experienced Piyush Chawla who has taken only three wickets in eight games. Praveen Kumar (nine wickets) and Azhar Mahmood (11 wickets) have been the main wicket-takers in the team and would relish bowling in seaming conditions in Mumbai.
Mumbai Indians: 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 4 Rohit Sharma (capt), 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Harbhajan Singh, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Dhawal Kulkarni, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Pragyan Ojha
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt/wk), 2 Mandeep Singh, 3 Manan Vohra, 4 David Miller, 5 David Hussey, 6 Gurkeerat Singh, 7 Azhar Mahmood, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Manpreet Gony, 10 Praveen Kumar, 11 Harmeet Singh