Bangalore, Sep 11: This year's Champions League is Sachin Tendulkar's final Twenty20 assignment. This provides Mumbai Indians an extra motivation to give a perfect send off to the cricketing icon.
Mumbai Indians finally got their hands on the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy in May this year. Tendulkar retired from IPL soon after tasting success in the sixth edition's final against Chennai Super Kings.
Now, Tendulkar and his friends will be aiming to secure a double. But, it is not likely to be a smooth ride to the top as pace spearhead Lasith Malinga is missing in their line-up due to injury.
Without doubt, Malinga has been their best bowler. The Sri Lankan's absence from CLT20 is a huge blow. How they cope with this will be a big challenge.
MI won CLT20 trophy in 2011 under Harbhajan Singh's captaincy. Tendulkar had missed that tournament due to an injury.
Tendulkar will be hoping to come good one final time and help his team to glory. Batting will revolve around the big man - Kieron Pollard.
Youngsters Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik along with captain Rohit Sharma are crucial in the middle order.
With head coach John Wright and mentor Anil Kumble planning well to give them IPL success, the duo has to chalk out strategies for this September 17-October 6 event.
CSK did the double in 2010 by lifting both IPL and CLT20. Can MI do it?
MI's CLT20 Records
Played 14, Won 6, Lost 6, No Result 2
Most runs: Kieron Pollard 333 (14 innings)
Most wickets: Lasith Malinga 24 wickets (12 innings)
Most sixes: Pollard 24 (14 innings)
2009 - Did not qualify
2010 - Group Stage
2011 - Champions
2012 - Group Stage
Players to watch out for: Kieron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Mitchell Johnson.
Mumbai Indians Squad
Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ambati Rayudu, Aditya Tare, Rishi Dhawan, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Akshar Patel, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell.
Groups (MI in Pool A)
Group A: Mumbai Indians (India), Highveld Lions (South Africa), Perth Scorchers (Australia), Rajasthan Royals (India), Qualifier.
Group B: Chennai Super Kings (India), Titans (South Africa), Brisbane Heat (Australia), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies), Qualifier.
September 21 (Jaipur)
MI Vs Rajasthan Royals (8PM IST)
September 23 (Ahmedabad)
MI Vs Qualifier (8PM IST)
September 27 (Ahmedabad)
MI Vs Highveld Lions (8PM IST)
October 2 (Delhi)
MI Vs Perth Scorchers (4PM IST)
2009 - NSW Blues (Australia)
2010 - Chennai Super Kings (India)
2011 - Mumbai Indians (India)
2012 - Sydney Sixers (Australia)