The Delhi Daredevils have made some what-on-earth-were-they-thinking team decisions so far in IPL 2017, but Zaheer Khan, Rahul Dravid and Paddy Upton will need to get their playing XI absolutely right if they are to stop the form team in IPL 2017 – Mumbai Indians.
With just two wins in five matches, and two straight defeats, the Daredevils need a win to get their season back on course, but they will be up against the most impressive team of the latest Indian Premier League season.
The Mumbai Indians have been outstanding in IPL 2017, winning five of their six matches – five in a row – with the majority of those wins coming in a convincing manner.
To make matters worse, MI have looked unbeatable at the Wankhede Stadium, so this does look like a tall order for the Delhi Daredevils.
However, the Mumbai Indians have been lucky in winning tosses as well, which has helped them play to their strengths – which is chasing.
The Daredevils, though, seem to prefer batting first and putting on a total on the board, owing to their strong bowling attack, but against this MI bating lineup, they might want to change their strategy.
What also needs to change is their thinking behind team selection. Angelo Mathews has found favour over Corey Anderson and Carlos Brathwaite, and that is hard to understand.
Anderson, if fit, should come right back into the playing XI, while they might also want to think about sending Chris Morris further up the order. DD ruined any chance they might have had of chasing down SRH's total in their last game, by holding Morris back, with the South African, who has a strike rate of over 200 in IPL 2017, ending up not facing a single delivery.
Shahbaz Nadeem is another player who has surprisingly been left out, despite impressing, and the left-arm orthodox bowler will hope to come in for either Jayant Yadav or Amit Mishra, who has been a little underwhelming in IPL 2017.
The Mumbai Indians have no worries over anything really this season, and with Ambati Rayudu still a couple of games away from returning from a groin injury, there is no need to make any changes to the playing XI – not that, if Rayudu was fit, he would come back in, especially with the form that Nitish Rana, who has been a revelation at No.3 for MI, is in.
There will be a slight worry over Lasith Malinga's form, with the Sri Lankan going for plenty in his last two games. MI have solid options in Tim Southee and Mitchell Johnson, but Malinga is likely to keep his place in the playing XI.
Expected playing XI:
Mumbai Indians: Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.
Delhi Daredevils: Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Corey Anderson, Chris Morris, Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Pat Cummins, Zaheer Khan.