By BV Swagath
Mumbai Indians, former CLT20 Champions are in a desperate position playing what would be their third match of this edition of the tournament. There is no doubt that they need to win their Group A Match against Lions tonight at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium to keep their hopes of making it to the Semi Finals alive.
Each team plays four matches in this round robin league and to make it to the Semis, 3 wins will ensure them of the Semi Finals spot. Mumbai obviously cannot collect three wins as they have already their first match against the Rajasthan Royals and then their game against Otago Volts at Ahmedabad was washed out. So they are now left with just the two games and they will have to win both to stay in contentions. While they meet the Highveld Lions tonight, their last game will be against the Perth Scorchers.
This Mumbai Indians Vs Lions contest at Jaipur is a crucial match in Group A. It is because the Lions are also still looking for their first win. They too lost against the Rajasthan Royals while their first game against the Perth Scorchers was washed out at Ahmedabad. So it is a similar situation for the Lions like the Mumbai Indians. The team that loses tonight could say good bye to the tournament.
From Group A, Rajasthan Royals are looking hot in making it to the Semis having won two out of two matches. Otago Volts has won one game and the other was washed out. Perth Scorchers are facing exactly the same situation like the Mumbai Indians and the Lions. But Perth Scorchers, the only time they were on the field, which was against the Otago Volts, looked quite weak in all departments of the game.
Mumbai Indians have the team to storm into the Semis against all the odds. For that they will have to pull off their A game this evening. On the bowling front, Mitchell Johnson was quite sharp bowling speeds of 150 kmph. Mumbai Indians would need its other bowlers to support him and the batting to click. If the Mumbai Indians can do that, then the Lions, a team that lacks the big world class players would find it difficult to beat them.
Mumbai Indians team:MG Johnson,KD Karthik,Harbhajan Singh,RG Sharma,SR Tendulkar,PP Ojha,AT Rayudu,Abu Nechim,DR Smith,KA Pollard,AP Tare,GJ Maxwell,Rishi Dhawan,Nathan Coulter-Nile,Akshar Patel
Lions team:Sohail Tanvir,ND McKenzie,LL Tsotsobe,TL Tsolekile,GH Bodi,AN Petersen,Temba Bavuma,Ethan O'Reilly,AM Phangiso,J Symes,Imran Tahir,Quinton de Kock,Dwaine Pretorius,Rassie van der Dussen,Hardus Viljoen