After losing the opening game of IPL 2017 against Rising Pune Supergiant, Mumbai Indians are on a five-game winning streak as they take on Delhi Daredevils in the 25th match of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium.
It will be a battle between two contrasting batting line-ups and two bowling attacks who have surprised in equal measure. It will also be the battle between one of India’s best batsmen currently in Rohit Sharma and the wily veteran in Zaheer Khan.
For Mumbai Indians, batting has undoubtedly been their strong suit. In Nitish Rana, they seem to have found a new star amongst their ranks and Jos Buttler has finally managed to convert his starts into a considerable score. Rohit Sharma hasn’t been in great form but has shown signs of getting there while Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers have all chipped it when it has mattered. Their bowling, however, is a concern and they can’t always rely on their batting to bail them out in a run chase.
For Delhi Daredevils, their bowling has been biggest plus point as the likes of Zaheer Khan and Chris Morris have not only picked up early wickets but also showed that experience matters. Their batting lacks experience but openers Sanju Samson and Sam Billings have both been impressive while the only real question has been their batting order which has seen their two most explosive players in Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris not getting enough time in the middle.
While Mumbai Indians have made a name for themselves in this year’s tournament with their ability to seemingly scale any total, both of Delhi Daredevils wins have come when they have batted first. So it will be interesting to see who comes out on top if both teams get to do what they want.
Match date: 22-04-2017
Match time: 2000 hours (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
If Mumbai Indians bat first
Predicted score: 170+
Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel finally got going together in the previous game against Kings XI Punjab and Nitish Rana has proven himself to be a revelation so far in the tournament. While captain Rohit Sharma hasn’t clicked in form just yet, they are doing just fine without him.
Krunal Pandya has shown that he is more than just the left-arm bowler who keeps things quiet, Kieron Pollard has delivered when it mattered most and Hardik Pandya has shown himself to be a composed finisher.
Delhi, though, boast of the bowling attack that could expose the chinks in the Mumbai armor. Both Parthiv and Buttler have struggled against spin during the powerplay and the captain has failed to pick the wrist spinners. With Shahbaz Nadeem and Amit Mishra, DD have their bases covered, especially with the expertise of Chris Morris and Zaheer Khan at the death overs.
If Delhi Daredevils bat first
Predicted score: 180+
The biggest dilemma that Delhi Daredevils face is just where Rishabh Pant bats. The southpaw has been in sublime touch in the IPL but has often come too late in the order to make a meaningful impact. With Karun Nair faltering and Shreyas Iyer not as explosive, they should look to send Pant up the order, especially if they are to get a big enough total on the board against a side that chases well.
Chris Morris didn’t get to face ball in Delhi’s last game, which they should have won. Given his lack of impact, Angelo Mathews might make way for Corey Anderson which strengthens the batting, which they will need against Mumbai, whose bowling has faltered of late.
Jasprit Bumrah has struggled with his no ball issues, Mitchell McClenaghan has been surprisingly hit-and-miss, the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya have proven to be inexpensive and not really a first-choice wicket-taking option. But the biggest worry is the form of Lasith Malinga, who conceded at least 50 runs in each of his last two matches and especially struggled at the death. With the power-hitters that DD have in the middle-order, this is an area they can look to target.
Predicted winners: Delhi Daredevils