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Sachin expected to return as MI take on DD

Mumbai: With Sachin Tendulkar expected to return from injury and bolster the batting department, Mumbai Indians would look to continue with their winning ways when they take on another in-form team Delhi Daredevils in their Indian Premier League match here on Monday.

The batting maestro sustained a finger injury in his right hand in the season-opener against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on April 4 and missed the next three games. He took part in his first batting practice, facing throw-downs for 45 minutes while the rest of the MI team members had a net session at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

However, the team management will take a final call on his participation only on Monday. Since the IPL season opener against Chennai, Mumbai Indians have not had a solid start and if Tendulkar takes his spot at the top of batting order, MI can hope for a strong opening stand for the likes of Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma to feast on later. Neither T Suman, who opened in two games, nor Ambati Rayudu, who got a chance to launch the innings in the other game, prospered in Tendulkar`s absence. South African Richard Levi, who debuted in the IPL in style with a man-of-the-match award-winning half century when Tendulkar was at the other end, also has not done anything extraordinary since the opening game.

A victory for MI tomorrow would be their third on the trot and help them shoot their way back to the top while a win for the Daredevils would take them to six points and keep them among the leading teams on the points table. MI floundered while chasing a small score against Pune Warriors in the only loss they had suffered so far, before Rohit, Pollard and Rayudu struck form in the previous two games to help them chase successfully or post challenging totals.

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