The match between Deccan Charges and Mumbai Indians played on 28th March 2010  at D Y Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai was the 25th match of Indian Premier League.  A total of 56 matches are to be played in the tournament before semi finals and without a shadow of doubt one could say that Mumbai Indians have been the team of the tournament so far as they have dominated the first half of IPL.  It is too early to say whether Mumbai Indians would win the third edition of IPL, but one thing is almost certain that they are going to have their best result this year for they are almost certain to reach the semi finals which they failed to do so in the previous editions.

Sachin Tendulkar has scored 303 runs so far in this tournament and is the second highest scorer in the tournament so far.  Only Jacque Kallis with 310 runs is ahead of Sachin  Tendulkar, but Sachin's runs have come at a better strike rate.  Sachins runs have come at a strike rate of 145.67 or 8.74 runs per over, while Kallis got his runs at 128.09 or 7.68 runs per over.  Sachin's 303 runs came of a mere 208 deliveries.  Sachin's scores in the tournament read 17, 63, 25, 71 not out, 72 and 55 and has top scored in the last five of those innings.  The only match in which Sachin failed i.e. when he scored 17 in the inaugural match against Rajasthan, Sachin Tendulkar departed with the scoreboard reading 69 for 2 of 6.1 overs as he laid the platform for the big hitters down the order to launch the onslaught. Therefore it is difficult to consider even that score of 17 as a failure.

Sachin has been outstanding as an captain an area where he had failed in the past.  In the past Sachin was less inclined to experiment but this time around it is Sachins captaincy which made a difference.  With wickets falling Sachin ensured that he stayed at the wicket without taking too many risks till the 17th over becuse Sachin very well realized the fact that it is important to have wickets to lauch an onslaught in the end and though Sachin perished in the process while launching an onslaught Harbhajan completed the task and Harbhajans brilliance saw Mumbai Indians getting a much more runs in the end that what was anticipated.  It was also heartening to see Harbhajan getting runs probably for the first time in a cruch situation an area where he has failed miserably in the earlier editions of the tournament.

While Harbhajan Singhs quickfire 49 made the difference, what confirmed Mumbai Indians win was the genius in Sachin and this time not for runs he got but for a change with his captaincy.  Sachin knew that a target of 172 is not safe should Gilchrist get going and early on in the innings Gilchrist has a reputation for playing fierce cuts of fast bowlers and Zaheer and Bravo bowl at just the right pace for Gilchrist to get going with his shots.  Sachin by bringing Harbhajan on ensured that Gilchrist does not get the pace to play the cut shot.  A clearly rattled Gilchrist fell prey to the masters shrewdness and Sachin completed the task by taking a stunning catch which is one of the best slip catches ever.

Though Mumbai Indians have been on a winning streak, they still have some weakness and that is Bravo as they cannot afford to persist with an under performing Bravo especially in future matches when the pressure element will be more.  Sachin finds himself in a situation as to who should replace Bravo.  Replacing Dumminy with Bravo would  be a big blunder, because the pace at which Dumminy scores puts pressure on the other batsmen and the team as a whole and his selection ahead of Bravo would have more negative impact.  Sachin has only one option and that is to call back Jayasurya in the role of a all rounder who would bat in  the middle order.


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