On paper, Mumbai Indians appear way stronger than Yorkshire in terms of talent. However, their performances in the tournament so far have followed an equally disappointing chart. Defending champions Mumbai were crushed badly by Lions in their opening encounter, eight wickets to be sure. Their net run rate will have taken a beating for sure, so they’ll seek an equally thumping win over Yorkshire. The English side, on the other hand, were no match for Sydney Sixers, as they were rolled over for 96 in their opening clash. A major improvement would be needed against Mumbai.
Team Mumbai analysis
Mumbai have the players who can do the job for the team. They just need to transform potential into performance. Sachin Tendulkar and whoever accompanies him at the top of the order – Dwayne Smith or Richard Levi – must give the team a good start. The middle order also has to deliver. They have talented players like Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik, who can turn around games. Plus, the big-hitting power of Kieron Pollard could also come to the fore.
While Mumbai batted efficiently against Lions, their bowling was below par, with Lasith Malinga being the only one who troubled the opponents. The Sri Lankan would need better support from skipper Harbhajan as well as the other spinner Pragyan Ojha as also pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, all of whom struggled against Lions.
Team Yorkshire analysis
Following an embarrassing batting effort against Sydney Sixers they have a lot to prove. Yorkshire would do well to treat their batting collapse as a one-off and start afresh against Mumbai Indians. For that, their openers, skipper Andrew Gale and Phil Jaques, will have to give them a potent start. In the middle-order, the likes of Joe Root, Adam Lyth as well as Gary Ballance will have to fire. They won’t have it easy against Malinga and co, but to survive in their tournament they need to come up with the goods.
As far as their bowling is concerned, a lot will obviously depend on veteran left-arm pacer Ryan Sidebottom, who did not get much of a chance to show his prowess against the Sixers. The other bowlers in the team aren’t well known, but it is important that Azeem Rafiq, Steven Patterson and Moin Ashraf provide adequate support to Sidebottom.
Mumbai would fancy their chances considering Yorkshire’s weaknesses. The latter, meanwhile, can take inspiration from the fact that all the IPL teams have struggled against non-IPL sides.
--By A Cricket Analyst