IPL has come back to India and with it begins the home advantage theory. The first day of the second leg of this year’s IPL saw Mumbai winning their first match, and interestingly came against Punjab , who lost their first match of this edition. This was just a trailor of what Mumbai Indians can do at home. They now have 9 consecutive wins at the Wankhade stadium.
1: Batting paradise wicket: The track at Mumbai is not a typical low and slow Indian track, but a batting paradise.Mumbai Indians have always banked on their power hitters. The fortunes of Mumbai Indians changed after Pollard entered their squad , who just provided the late ignition the team needed. But, the pitch suited his kind of batting where he could hit through the line . Even this year, Corey Anderson, after failing with the bat in UAE made his presence felt at Mumbai with a quick fire 30s, just because it suited his kind of batting.
2: Lasith Malinga: Malinga is more effective when someone goes after him. He is someone who takes the pitch out of the equation just with his toe crushing yorkers or foxing them with change of pace. At Mumbai , he either gets a significant number to defend or is confident of his batting lineup to chase down something aroung 180. With a game based on high scores from both sides, Malinga unleashes his stock and is most effective in such conditions. It is just that Malinga is more effective than anyone on flat pitches, which works in Mumbai’s favour.
3: A defensive Harbhajan Singh : Harbhajan has lost his lust and especially when it comes to picking up wickets. But with the variety and experience under his belt, he is very hard to get him away and his good economy rate at Mumbai speaks for it. Going for 6 or 7 an over on a flat track is as good as picking wickets , as defense becomes an attacking option in such circumstances. It just builds up the pressure , which can be utilised by somone else on the other end.
4: Proper use of Pollard: Mumbai Indians fought hard to get Pollard into their team and the main logic was his witty bowling along with his game changing batting. He is someone who has got nothing special with the ball in his hand. But with all the change of pace, he can be handy on tracks like Mumbai. Someone is bound to have an off day with the bowl and this is where Pollard chips in with some useful overs. He may go for 8 or 9 an over, but that must be acceptable by the captain, considering that he is not a regular bowler and the flatness of the pitch too.
On other grounds, this may turn out to be a game changing spell, where targets around 140 is defendable and a bowler going for 35 in his quota can cost a match.