Gujarat Lions (GL) welcome Mumbai Indians (MI) to the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA), Rajkot for Match 35 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. MI will be well rested as they are playing a match after four days, but GL are coming off a much needed win against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday. MI in their last match lost to Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in their previous fixture – only their second loss of the season, incidentally against the same team. While MI are well in the top half of the table, GL after their recent win will look to get a few more results their way and climb the table. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Gujarat Lions (GL) vs Mumbai Indians (MI), IPL 10, Match 35
After losing the first match of the season, MI bounced back extremely well to win six matches in a row and as a result have been amongst the top two teams. GL on the other hand have been in the wrong end of the table all season. Another loss for GL could potentially ruin their chances of making it to the playoffs, but as far as MI are concerned, another win or two could seal their place in the top four. MI might look to bring in a change or two for this game after their narrow loss in the previous match.
Firstly, they will want to get Krunal Pandya back into the side in place of Karn Sharma. Compared to Karn, Krual offers much more to the team. He can bowl economically, strike at over 150 and is a good fielder as well. The Karn Sharma experiment should ideally be a short lived one for MI. Mitchell Johnson too has been reasonably good in the two matches he has played so far. He should continue to keep Lasith Malinga out of the XI for this match as well. It will not be a bad idea to replace Kieron Pollard with Asela Gunaratne. Pollard has played a couple of good innings in this match, but has barely bowled. Gunaratne can not only use the long handle to good effect, but can also bowl four quiet bowlers. The batsmen have found it difficult to pick his variations and could very well be the surprise package.
Rohit Sharma’s form is a cause of worry for MI. He has only a couple of scores in double digits in the tournament so far – last of which was a 58 in a losing cause against RPS. MI will hope that their skipper delivers in the business end of the tournament, where every point is crucial. There have been calls for Rohit to bat at No. 3 or maybe open the innings, but with Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler and Nitish Rana doing so well in the top three positions, it is unlikely that Rohit will disturb that combination.
Mumbai Indians likely XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Asela Gunaratne/Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah.
GL had a perfect game against RCB. In a small ground like the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, they managed to restrict RCB to 134 and then their batsmen chased it down with 7 wickets and 37 balls to spare. They will hope that they can keep that up in this match as well. They seem to have found a good balance when it comes to their overseas players, with Brendon McCullum, Andrew Tye, Aaron Finch and James Faulkner playing their parts well. They made the right call by not picking Dwayne Smith in the previous match as he was wasted in the batting line-up batting at No. 5 or 6. Tall leg-spinner Ankit Soni made his IPL debut against RCB and had a decent outing. However, he might be the one to make way, if GL decide to bring in Irfan Pathan, who will be an additional fast bowling option. Barring that, it would not be wise of GL to make any further changes.
Gujarat Lions likely XI: Suresh Raina (c), Ishan Kishan, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik (wk), James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ankit Soni/Irfan Pathan, Andrew Tye, Basil Thampi, Nathu Singh
Head-to-head: These two sides have met each other just thrice. MI registered their first win against GL when the two sides met each other earlier this season on April 16, when MI eased to a six-wicket win. However, this will be the first time these two teams will be playing at Rajkot. MI and GL have played twice at Wankhede Stadium and once at Green Park Stadium, Kanpur.
Prediction: It seems GL are slowly turning to a settled side. They have their overseas players conundrum rectified and will surely have a spring in their strides after a thumping win over RCB. MI on the other hand will look to shrug off their loss to RPS and start afresh. It is that time of the tournament when they should not experiment much and play their best XI. However, both sides have an explosive batting line-up, especially their top three or four. The side containing those batsmen will surely emerge on top.
Raina asked for a better performance from his bowlers against RCB and they delivered. A similar performance could see GL emerge victorious and maybe have a chance to further climb the table.
Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Brendon McCullum, Ravindra Jadeja, Aaron Finch, James Faulkner, Andrew Tye, Basil Thampi, Ishan Kishan, Nathu Singh, Ankit Soni,Irfan Pathan, Dwayne Smith, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar, Manpreet Gony, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Shah, Pradeep Sangwan, Shadab Bashir Jakati, Jason Roy, Akshdeep Nath, Chirag Suri, Shubham Agarwal, Tejas Baroka, Pratham Singh, Shelley Shaurya
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya,Mitchell Johnson, Lendl Simmons, Tim Southee, Vinay Kumar, Saurabh Tiwary, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Krishnappa Gowtham, Siddhesh Lad, Nicholas Pooran, Shreyas Gopal, Asela Gunaratne, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kulwant Khejroliya
TIME: 14.30 GMT | 20.00 IST