Mumbai, Apr 21: With their campaign stuttering due to continuous batting failures, Mumbai Indians got a big boost ahead of their Indian Premier League match against Kings XI Punjab here tomorrow with Sachin Tendulkar being declared fit to take the field.
The home team can expect a change of fortune with Tendulkar, who has seen the action only from the sidelines after getting hit on his finger in the opening game on April 4, returning to the opening slot and giving a much-needed dose of stability to the top order.
Mumbai Indians paid the price of reckless batting against Delhi Daredevils as they managed just 92 runs, their second-lowest total in five seasons, to lose their last match comprehensively.
According to Mumbai Indians coach Robin Singh, Tendulkar is all set to play tomorrow. “He's fine to play and is playing tomorrow,” Robin Singh said.
Tendulkar today practiced hard after missing the last four games and his presence tomorrow would certainly calm down the jangled nerves of the top order.
Key MI batsmen—Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu and Richard Levi—have all been inconsistent while wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik has been a total failure.
The additional worry for MI is that paceman Lasith Malinga will not take the field for the second match in succession because of pain in his back.
Whenever MI were in trouble, the team had lobbed the ball to the Sri Lankan sling-arm bowler and he had delivered.
In his absence, the team fielded Australian Clint Mckay without much success against the Daredevils, but the target for the visitors was too small for the bowlers to make any impression.
Munaf Patel has bowled extremely well and is, in fact, the highest wicket taker (10 in four games) for MI this season and he is expected to have Rudra Pratap Singh as back-up in pace for the second game running.