So, finally the league matches in the Indian Premier League are over and we now head down to the business end of the tournament.
Kolkata Knight Riders ended their campaign with a consolation nine-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians, who fielded a nearly second-string side.
It was an obvious calls for the league leaders wanted to prevent their top stars from picking up an injury ahead of their semi-final match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
On the other hand, Kolkata must be ruing having lost a place in the semis only because of the run rate after four teams were locked at 14 points each.
Mumbai will no doubt start as the favourites against Bangalore, who managed to make it to the final four in the last round.
Mumbai also boast of the tournament’s top run scorer in Sachin Tendulkar, while Bangalore’s Jacques Kallis is second, the South African has not been able to lift the tempo in the recent few matches.
Mumbai’s bowling is also far superior and more than varied than Bangalore. Mumbai boast of three genuine match winning bowlers in Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga. On the other hand, Bangalore’s reliant would be on Anil Kumble and pace ace Dale Steyn.
Also playing into Mumbai’s hands is that the matches would be played in front of their home fans at the DY Patil stadium, giving them that extra edge.
So far, Mumbai has looked the superior of all teams in the league and are certainly the top favourites for the title. But they must be careful, for Bangalore has already beaten them at home this season.
Except for a miracle, I can’t see how the Bangalore boys can get the better of the Bhais from Mumbai!