Gujarat Lions will be hoping to continue their winning momentum after their victory over Rising Pune Supergiant and end Mumbai Indians’ three-game winning streak in IPL 2017. The addition of Andrew Tye and the decision to open with Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith worked wonders for Suresh Raina’s side and they will be looking to continue that as they take on high-flying Mumbai and get back into the playoff race.
In the 16th match of IPL 2017, Gujarat Lions take on Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Here is the possible playing XI for the Lions –
Dwayne Smith might not have found his place in the middle-order and as the primary all-rounder in the side but once they decided to have him go back to opening the innings, the results were instantaneous. MI certainly know all about what Dwayne Smith can do and he will be looking to come back to haunt his former side and continue the good form he showed against Pune.
Brendon McCullum may have retired from international cricket but he has shown that he is still as good as he was when has leading New Zealand. Against a pace-heavy MI attack that doesn’t have a finger spinner in the first XI, McCullum will be looking his blistering start to IPL 2017.
Suresh Raina has been criticized in the lead up to IPL 2017 but the Indian international has shown that criticism won’t stop him from leading from the front for Gujarat Lions. Aside from his ongoing battle with Virat Kohli to see who is top of the run-scoring charts in IPL history, Raina has also been in great form in the tournament.
Aaron Finch afforded the Lions the flexibility to drop Jason Roy and bring in his compatriot Andrew Tye that proved to be a masterstroke against Pune. Finch, who is arguably the best player of spin among the overseas players at the Lions also showed great form against Pune, which he will look to continue.
Dinesh Karthik came into the tournament on the back of a sublime domestic season, which many thought would be the ideal platform to seal his place in the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy. Although he hasn’t done a great deal barring his performance in the first game, he is just one good knock away from getting back his touch.
Ishan Kishan didn’t have much to do against Pune with the bat but his selection gives Pune the flexibility of going in with specialist openers and a middle-order batsman who can get going from the outset and that is crucial as they have looked batting-heavy.
Ravindra Jadeja returned to the side against Pune and although he only picked up one wicket, it was the important one of Dhoni and the control that he can bring in will certainly be crucial towards addressing the balance of the Lions side. The fact that he can also hit the ball out of the park lower down the order also gives them an extra batting cushion that they previous lacked.
Basil Thampy was impressive for the Lions against Pune, where he impressed with not just the pace that he bowled at but also the control he showed and his ability to come back after being expensive early on. He will look to be amongst the wickets against MI.
Shadab Jakati may picked as the second left-arm spinner against Pune ahead of Shivil Kaushik, who has the x-factor and he was expensive as well. But his experience and the fact that Kaushik has also been expensive and too short so far in the IPL means that he is likely to keep his place in the side.
Praveen Kumar has been wildly inconsistent so far in IPL 2017. While he has the ability to swing the ball both ways, he has been wayward with his lines and has been expensive at the start of his innings. However, his ability to bowl at the death means that he is likely to keep his place ahead of Dhawal Kulkarni, who wasn't picked against Pune.
Andrew Tye was playing in his first-ever IPL game against Pune but figures of 5/17 certainly do not reflect that and he will be integral to Gujarat’s chances against Mumbai with his death bowling and his knuckle ball as he will provide the x-factor against a strong batting line-up. He added that extra quality and variety to the bowling attack and will no doubt be a regular in the side going forward.