Mumbai deserve to win 1st Semi Final.
After the completion of the league phase, Sachin Tendulkar who acquired the nickname "Bombay Bomber" very early in his career proved yet again that he can be a "Bomber" at any point of his career should he desire to do so. Sachin Tendulkar literally bombed bowlers of all teams in accumulating 561 runs of a mere 412 deliveries at a strike rate of 136.16 which translates to 8.17 runs an over. What is more creditable is that those runs have come at an outstanding average of 51.00.
Sachin Tendulkar bombarded a record 77 boundaries and 3 sixers to take Mumbai Indians to the top of the league with 10 wins. There was a time when Sourav Ganguly was rated very high for leading the team from the front as captain, but Sachin was even more spectacular than Ganguly in leading from the front, because he has been tremendously consistent and a huge source of inspiration for his team mates. Where Sachin has scored over Ganguly is the fact that winning matches in IPL are more difficult than other international matches, because there are star studded players in every team from the likes of Adam Gilchrist to Yuvraj Singh, whereas in international cricket winning matches are more easier because you get to play very ordinary teams like Zimbabve and Bangladesh where you do not need any great skills as a captain or as a player to win matches as matches are gifted by opposition than won.
Sachin by resting himself and other key players proved that he was tactically brilliant. Prior to losing their last league match against Kolkata ,Sachin's Mumbai Indians have won 3 matches in a row which meant they had to win 5 in a row to win the Championship. Winning 5 in a row is never easy for a team for it puts lot of mental pressure on the team and a team like Mumbai Indians which already won 5 in a row in the league phase would find it even more taxing to replicate the feat yet again in the Championship especially with the remaining matches being knock outs. Now the task ahead for Sachin and company is simple and that is to win just 2 matches to ensure the Championship is theirs.
On current form Mumbai Indians should win the Championship because they have been the best team in the league with 10 wins and their skipper Sachin Tendulkar, the highest run getter is also the best player by a long way, but performances in the league count for nothing as one bad day can ruin everything. Whatever may be the final outcome of the semi final which will be played at Bombay on 21st April, Mumbai Indians deserve to win the semi final and Championship more than any other team. Similarly Sachin deserves to finish the tournament as the highest run getter because he performed the dual roles of getting runs at a fast pace and on a consistent basis to perfection, a role where the likes of Kallis and Ganguly failed because their runs came at a snails pace.
In the semi finals both the teams are under the same amount of pressure. While for Mumbai Indians, there is pressure on them to carry forward their outstanding form in the semi finals an area in which Bangalore does not have concern, there is pressure on Bangalore in another aspect and that is making successive finals in a star studded tournament is never easy.
Bangalore were very lucky to make the semi finals as they huffed and puffed their way to semi finals and were on a losing spree in the second half of the tournament and therefore it is only fair that a consistent unit like Mumbai Indians be rewarded for their performance.
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