More important than the result of this match is the fact that this might be the 2nd last time we get to see the world’s greatest batsman, the man who is termed ‘GOD’, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar bat. The last time India played a test series at home, the crowds were nearly half full, but we can expect a full house on each day of the match considering everyone wants a glimpse of ‘GOD’. He has nothing more to prove, but he deserves the best of farewells one has ever received.
India seem to be favorites considering the fact that all batsmen are in tremendous form and they will be playing in front of a full house. The Eden is so noisy that it acts as a 12th player whenever India plays a match here, and that might come into effect. As always is the case, India’s bowling lacks the bite and that is exactly where the West Indies batsmen including Gayle, Chanderpaul, Samuels and Bravo could cash in. The crowd wouldn’t be caring much about the result of this test, because all they have come to see is a glimpse of the little master, Sachin Tendulkar.
People may assume that India now does not have a strong middle order, but that is by no means true. In Sachin, Kohli and Rohit they certainly are one of the top 3 middle orders in the world. Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli and Pujara are in blistering form, which is very bad news for Sammy and his men. While the entire world wil be busy watching Sachin, these 4 can kock a few runs under their belly and take India to a huge total. Ashwin will have to lead the bowling attack, and he has to be back to his best if India are to have even the thinnest of chances of winning this game. Yadav should make it to the plaing 11 and be the pacer whom the West Indians should be scared about.
The West Indies top 5 look as solid as ever, but it is their No.6 and 7 that is the weak link in the team. Both are not the best of batsmen, and if India break into the middle order Sammy would be worried about his batting unit. That being said, Sammy himself is a useful all-rounder and he should contribute in both departments by leading from the front. Ramdin must also make useful contributions to ensure there is no lower order collapse which might give India a chance to win.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar (GOD), Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Dhoni (wk)(c), Ravi Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha
Under the hood: As much attention the crowd would be paying on Sachin, the selectors would be paying the same amount on Murali Vijay. He has always been a replacement opener for India, until Sehwag and Gambhir were forced out of the team. However, he has never made the position his own and there still lacks login as to how he holds his place. With Sehwag, Gambhir, Rahane, and others looking to break into the playing 11, it’s now or never for Vijay. He does receive the backing of the captain, but that is not enough as runs is what will help him retain his place.
West Indies: Kieran Powell, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Darren Sammy (c), Dinesh Ramdin (wk), Shane Shillingford, Tino Best/Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach
Under the hood: Darren Bravo is one of a kind player, has an awesome technique but lacks consistency. In any format of the game, he gets 1 or 2 big scores and then fades away for the other few games. That is not what the team expects from the next-supposed-to-be-Lara, and for the very same reason he must bat maturely and consistently. He is West Indies best bet in these conditions as he can play spin very well, but he must battle it out initially and settle in. He can be as dangerous as Gayle or Samuels at least in the test format as he can bat long.
Expected Result: India Win
13 West Indians on the cricket field, it is going to be a calypso party down there. Oh yea, the 11 from Trinidad and Mumbai’s Smith and Pollard. Both are very exciting teams, and both had to win with a pretty big margin in their last match to make sure they make the semi-finals, and well they did. Both are contrasting teams, with Trinidad having a very strong bowling line up whereas Mumbai have a really strong batting unit.
All eyes will be on Sachin Tendulkar, especially since he has failed in the last few matches. No one wants Mumbai to lose, because if they do that would mean the end of Sachin in the colored jersey. The quote “#ThisTimeFor10Dulkar” has been Mumbai’s promotional quote throughout the tournament. Talking about Trinidad, they have been in good form lately and the leader of their bowling attack Narine has been a treat to watch. Rampaul, Emrit and Badree have supported him really well too which all together makes a potent bowling attack.
The Mumbai team management would have only one headache on mind while selecting their playing 11, whether to play Johnson or Maxwell as the 4th international player. Johnson has a better chance of playing because he is one of the best bowlers in this version; however his form is a big worry. Whoever plays, all eyes will be on the man who has carried the nation’s hopes for the last 2 decades and everyone hopes he can deliver. Pollard and Rayudu would be expected to provide the kick needed at the end of the innings, and one of them must step up and make sure Mumbai can pull it over the line.
Trinidad and Tobago never get their desired team because some or the other players choose to play for their IPL teams, Like Bravo and Pollard did. However, they still have managed to pull this together and have made it to this stage. They start as underdogs in this match but do have the potential to win this one, all they need is their batting to click.
Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik(wk), Rohit Sharma(c), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Glenn Maxwell/Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pragyan Ojha, Rishi Dhawan
X-Factor: Sachin Tendulkar, the man who can make 2 billion people stop work and switch on their television set has not had the best of tournaments this time around. He has already announced that this is his last tournament for Mumbai Indians, and he would want to end on a high. For that to happen, he needs to perform and give the team a good start. If he does so, his team would be on their way to achieve “#ThisTimeFor10Dulkar”, the slogan of the Mumbai fans. If he performs, the fact that productivity will decrease is a different story, but it would be a treat to watch the master scoring runs again.
Trinidad and Tobago: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Dinesh Ramdin (c)(wk), Yannick Ottley, Navin Stewart, Nicholas Pooran, Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree
X-Factor: Darren Bravo, the assumed to be next Brian Lara would be in the lime light in this must win game. It is known that Trinidad have a strong bowling unit, but it’s their batting that must stand up and perform. Bravo holds the key and must stabilize the innings from one end, which would give the team a free license to go for the bowling from the other end. His team’s fate is likely to depend on his performance, and it will be seen whether he can handle the pressure at the biggest of stages.
Expected Result: Mumbai Indians wins
Each and every cricket fan would have his eyes on the television set for this huge match, it could either be Sachin Tendulkar’s last match in the colored jersey or it could be the match where the Mumbai Indians crush the Scorchers and make it to the semi-finals. Cricket fans from all over the world would want MI to win, who wants to see Sachin not play anymore?
Talking about cricket, it is expected to be a 1 sided game with Mumbai being too strong for the Scorchers to pull up a surprise, but you never know what can happen in cricket. The Scorchers have been further weakened due to the injury to Voges, who flew back home. The only backbone in the team has left, and now the Scorchers look even weaker. On the other hand, this is the perfect opportunity for the Mumbai bowlers to rattle their opposition and make sure the team wins by a huge NRR.
The Indians have a pretty strong lineup, but for some reason they could not get their act together and find themselves in this situation. A big win is all they require and if they can get that, a place in the semi-finals is theirs for the taking. Sachin Tendulkar is not in the best of forms, but no one can doubt his ability. All he needs is some time in the middle to gain back some form and then he can anchor the innings along. Pollard and Rohit have had decent outings with the bat, and they are Mumbai’s main assets. Ojha and Harbhajan also have a huge role to play, hopefully they can deliver.
The Scorchers have struggled to put a team together, especially after the injuries to the Marshes, Thomas and Voges (now). Their main players are injured, and they themselves know they are coming up with a depleted team. Funny things do happen in cricket, and that is all they can hope for. This match would be the last day of their misery, after which they can return back to Australia and review their performance.
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik(wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Rishi Dhawan, Pragyan Ojha
X-Factor: Mitchell Johnson is one of the most fierce opening bowlers, and especially with his pace and swing he can be an invaluable asset in the shortest version of the game. This is his best chance to get back in form and pick a few wickets. He has looked rusty throughout this series with the ball, but if he can swing it and pitch it in the right areas it is going to be fun to watch. He must pick wickets early on in the innings, to make sure Mumbai can win with a big margin.
Perth Scorchers: Ashton Agar, Marcus North, Simon Katich (c), Tom Triffitt (wk), Hilton Catwright, Sam Whiteman, Ashton Turner, Joel Paris, Joe Mennie, Jason Behrendorff, Michael Beer
X-Factor: Not much is expected out of the Scorchers but it is a known fact that Simon Katich is a class act. He is the only batsman who has played for Australia over a long period, and he must step in and perform. He was unlucky in 1 of his outings, and got a peach of a delivery in the 2nd game, but he does have the potential to hold the innings together. Katich is the only player who can negate the likes of Johnson, Harbhajan and Ojha and if he does so the Scorchers might have a slim chance.
Expected Result: Mumbai win convincingly