Vaas left out as Deccan field
Monday, 28 April 2008

Mumbai Indians v Deccan Chargers, IPL, Mumbai

With a new home ground and a new captain, Mumbai Indians would be hoping for a turnaround as they host an equally struggling Deccan Chargers at the DY Patil Stadium in a battle of the bottom-ranked teams.

If the toss was any indication, the signs don't bode well; Shaun Pollock, leading the side since stand-in captain Harbhajan Singh is temporarily suspended, lost the toss and his team were put in by VVS Laxman on a ground with a flat deck and small outfield.

Though conditions suggested batting first was the way to go, Laxman hinted dew could play a factor later in the day, but perhaps Deccan's inability to defend targets so far would have also influenced his decision.

Harbhajan's absence means 20-year-old Siddharth Chitnis makes his Twenty20 debut, while Ajinkya Rahane, who scored a blazing 187 for Mumbai in a one-day game, comes in place of Saurabh Tiwary, the Under-19 batsman.

For Deccan, Chaminda Vaas, who went at more than ten an over in the last game, has been replaced by fellow Sri Lankan left-armer Nuwan Zoysa.

Mumbai, whose owners shelled out the most at the bids for franchises, have lost all three games so far. The first two matches had been narrow losses, but they had been comprehensively outplayed by Kings XI Punjab, following which the incident involving Harbhajan and Sreesanth occurred.

Harbhajan, who was captaining Mumbai in the absence of the injured Sachin Tendulkar, allegedly slapped his India team-mate, and has been suspended till the hearing that will be held on Monday. With both Tendulkar and Harbhajan missing, the onus will be on Pollock and Sanath Jayasuriya to perform.

Jayasuriya and Luke Ronchi have both failed to impress at the top of the order, while Mumbai's inexperienced bowling line-up have not been able to check the opposition batsmen. Harbhajan's suspension comes as a further jolt. For Deccan, the story hasn't been any better.

Their explosive batting line-up didn't get ideal conditions in the first game at Eden Gardens, and when Andrew Symonds finally got into the act against the Rajasthan Royals at home, it was Shane Warne who stole the thunder with his last-over heroics.

It will be last game for Symonds in this edition of the IPL, and he would be looking to savour one win before he heads back to resume duty for Australia. Gilchrist and Afridi are due a big score too, and the 55,000-capacity crowd will surely get a few balls coming their way if either gets going.

Teams Mumbai Indians:

1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Luke Ronchi (wk), 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Abhishek Nayar (wk), 7 Shaun Pollock (capt), 8 Siddharth Chitnis , 9 Musavir Khote, 10 Dhawal Kulkarni, 11 Ashish Nehra. Deccan Chargers: 1 VVS Laxman (capt), 2 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 3 Shahid Afridi, 4 Andrew Symonds, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Arjun Yadav, 7 Sanjay Bangar, 8 Nuwan Zoysa, 9 RP Singh, 10 Pragyan Ojha, 11 D Kalyankrishna.

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