Mumbai, Apr 28: Mumbai Indians, shockingly for their fans, find themselves languishing in the bottom half of the IPL 5 points table. At the halfway stage, having played eight matches, Mumbai are placed seventh.
On Sunday night, they face another team in the basement, Deccan Chargers, who are placed ninth and last. This will be Game 40 and Mumbai will be far more at ease having returned to the comforts of home conditions at the Wankhede Stadium.
This is the return leg match between the two sides. In Visakhapatnam, Mumbai had sealed a last-ball thriller when Rohit Sharma hit a six off Daniel Christian.
Mumbai have eight points from as many games while Deccan are with three points from seven matches. Deccan's chances of making the play-offs are vanishing soon and a win on Sunday could get their campaign back on track.
Mumbai, on the other hand, lost to Delhi Daredevils by 37 runs on Friday night at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. Before the start of the tournament, they were one of the favourites for the title, but they are not playing like one.
Captain Harbhajan Singh's lack of wickets is pulling the team down. He too admitted that he needs to fire with the ball. He needs to inspire the team with a big performance.
Lasith Malinga has returned from Sri Lanka and he was a big influence in Delhi. Again, Mumbai will be relying heavily on him. Kieron Pollard, who injured his shoulder on Friday, should be fit.
Ambati Rayudu is in good nick but the worry for Mumbai is at the top of the order. They have tried various opening combinations but yet to click. Aiden Blizzard came out to face the new ball with Sachin Tendulkar on Friday but failed.
Deccan are happy that Cameron White has returned to form with a breezy half century in their win against Pune Warriors. Dale Steyn missed the previous game and should return on Sunday.
Tendulkar facing Steyn would be an interesting battle for the fans. World's top fast bowler charging in to bowl to the leading batsman is a great sight. That contest did not happen in Visakhapatnam as Tendulkar missed that game due to finger injury.
Mumbai hold edge in this encounter since they are playing at home.
Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Abu Nechim, Amitize Singh, Aiden Blizzard, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Y Chahal, Clint McKay, Herschelle Gibbs, Davy Jacobs, Richard Levi, Rahul Shukla, Dinesh Kartik, Dhawal Kulkarni, K Yadav, Lasith Malinga, Sushant Marathe, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Robin Peterson, Sujit Nayak, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Jaydev Shah, Rudra Pratap Singh, T Suman, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare, Apporva Wankhede.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Parthiv Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, Bharat Chipli, Cameron White, Jean Paul Duminy, Dan Christian, Ashish Reddy, Amit Mishra, Juan Theron, Manpreet Gony, Kedar Devdhar, Daniel Harris, Ishank Jaggi, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Akash Bhandari, Chris Lynn, Tanmay Mishra.