Mohali team has point to prove on home ground

April 24th, 2008 - 11:48 am ICT by admin  

Mohali (Punjab), April 24 (IANS) Two straight losses in as many games in the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament has put the Mohali team - Kings XI Punjab - on the back foot. The team needs real heroics for their next match against the Mumbai Indians to be played at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here Friday. For the Mohali team and particularly its captain Yuvraj Singh, it will be an uphill task to contain the Mumbai Indians. On home ground, the Mohali team and Yuvraj will have a point to prove - both as a team and as a captain.

The Mohali team lost their opener to Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings at this stadium last week. They followed it with another defeat, this time at the hands of the less-fancied Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur Monday.

Despite having a star-studded side with big names like Yuvraj, Brett Lee, Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardane, S. Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla and Irfan Pathan in its ranks, the Mohali team has failed to rise up either in batting or in bowling to give their side an outright winning edge.

In the first match against the Super Kings, the Mohali bowling faltered - giving away over 240 runs. In the second outing against the Rajasthan Royals, their batsmen failed to notch up a big score.

“Our team may have lost both its matches, but we are hopeful that they will come out well in the remaining encounters,” PCA president Inderjit Singh Bindra said here.

Mohali captain Yuvraj Singh may be one of the best known players of the T20 format - given his flurry of six sixes in an over in the inaugural T20 world cup last year in South Africa - but he will have to prove his mettle as a leader by using the talent of players available to him.

The fast and bouncy PCA pitches here are suited to the fast bowling of the Mohali bowlers, especially Brett Lee, one of the world’s fastest bowlers, and the team should have no issue on this account. It is only that their bowlers and batsmen together have to come good in the next few matches.

The Mumbai Indians, who have already encountered one loss to the Bangalore Challengers at Mumbai, will do their best in the match to be played here.

Whether their star attraction and captain Sachin Tendulkar is fit enough to play here Friday will also decide on how the Mohali team approaches the match. Tendulkar’s presence in the playing XI will affect the Mohali team’s fortunes a great deal.

This will be one match when the Mohali team owner, Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, will be praying that the Mumbai Indians - the side from her adopted home town Mumbai - loses here.

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