Mumbai Indians (MI) started Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 by losing a cliff hanger against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Nonetheless, there has been no looking back for the Rohit Sharma-led side since then. They have overcome every side, won from crucial situations and found new stars in every triumph. On the other hand, Delhi Daredevils (DD), were ticking all the boxes with back-to-back wins after losing their opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).Since then they have fallen off late. Zaheer Khan and co. will have to be on their toes to not only return to winning ways, but also have a task in hand to overpower a fiery opponent at their fortress, Wankhede Stadium. Full Cricket Scorecard, Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2017, Match 25
Jos Buttler received a howler at the start of the tournament. He was wrongly adjudged LBW in the first two clashes. He looked in good touch in almost all the games, but made a big statement against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). A 37-ball 77, studded with 7 fours and 5 sixes, from the Englishman helped MI sail through KXIP’s daunting total and tame Hashim Amla’s ton. He will continue to open with Parthiv Patel. The left-hander has played some fine cameos but is in search of a big innings. MI’s highest run-getter Nitish Rana will come at No. 3. He has been in immaculate form with three fifties. Rana has carved a niche for himself with blistering contributions in all games by soaking up pressure in high-scoring chases.
Rohit faced a lot of flak for not opening the innings and setting the tone at the beginning. Nonetheless, he has stuck to a certain plan and gave ample chance to the likes of Rana and Pandya. He promoted Hardik Pandya to finish off the proceedings when victory was certain against KXIP. He may not drop himself further down the order and return back to take charge at No. 4. Krunal Pandya will show up at No. 5 followed by Kieron Pollard. MI bat deep and have batsmen who have shown plenty of character to shift gears according to match situations. Hardik, MI’s finisher, will come in and smack some lusty blows against a tricky bowling line-up. The way he has been timing the ball with the sweet part of the bat, the youngster looks unstoppable in IPL 10.
The rest of the batting line-up will be filled by Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee or Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah. Barring Bumrah, every other player is handy down the order and will like to add those extra 15-20 if required. Coming to the bowling arsenal, MI may have to toss up between McClenaghan and Malinga. Both the duo were expensive and had a forgettable game versus KXIP. While one or two jolts are acceptable, MI will like to keep their prime bowlers fresh going forward and shuffle with Southee waiting in the wings.
Rohit has intelligently used Harbhajan in the first ten overs to put a lid on the scoring and expose Krunal against the big hitters. Krunal has a knack of getting the opposition’s best batsman or breaking a threatening partnership. For the pace battery, MI will continue to bank on Hardik, Bumrah, Southee and McClenaghan/Malinga. It looks like a polished line-up and there would not be many changes to the winning combination. MI have always been a force to reckon with playing at home (they are unbeaten at Wankhede this season) and will like to extend their dominance on Saturday as well.
MI’s likely XI: Jos Buttler, Parthiv Patel (wk), Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma (c), Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee/Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
DD’s main weapon has been their bowling. However, their batting has also stood up from time to time. There has been some superlative cameos from Rishabh Pant. Sanju Samson and Sam Billings have taken their team to some sort of start along with Chris Morris and Corey Anderson getting those bonus runs in the death overs. Nonetheless, if they are languishing in the middle of the table, they have only themselves to blame. In the last edition also, they kept on tinkering the line-up which cost them a playoff berth and are repeating the same mistake in the ongoing season. If they get a settled combination and stick with it for some games, they will find their mojo back.
Samson and Billings will open the batting and will be eager to play a long innings apart from the usual cameos. The team surely needs more from them at the moment. Pant should come in at No. 3 with the kind of form he is in. Yes, he did fall flat in the previous game and will have to be wary of not getting carried away or trying too much early into his innings. Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Corey Anderson (if fully fit) and Chris Morris should fill in the No. 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively.
It was an irrelevant move from DD to send their big hitter, Morris, down the order in the tall run-chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). They should promote him and kept Mathews out of side. The Sri Lankan has looked far from impressive since his return from injury and needs time to recharge. The rest of the line-up should comprise of Pat Cummins, Shahbaz Nadeem, Amit Mishra and skipper Zaheer Khan.
DD still have two quality bowlers in form of Kagiso Rabada and Ben Hilfenhaus. While the former may continue to sit out (Remember his expensive spell against Afghanistan in ICC World Twenty20 2016 at Wankhede?), Hilfenhaus will also be warming up the benches to give more cushion to the batting line-up. DD’s bowling arsenal will comprise of the ever-economical Nadeem along with leg spinner Mishra. The senior spinner will like to entice the MI batsmen with some flight aided by shorter boundaries at Wankhede. Zaheer will spearhead the pacers along with Cummins, Morris and Anderson.
DD’s likely XI: Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Rishabh Pant (wk), Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Corey Anderson, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Shahbaz Nadeem, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (c)
The head-to-head record stands tied at 6-6. Nonetheless, there is a clear winner when we take into consideration how both sides have fared playing in Mumbai (including Brabourne and Wankhede Stadium). Rohit’s side hold an edge playing at home (win ratio of 6- 1) and will fancy their chances of making it 6 wins in a row in the current edition. For DD, they will have to find out a settled line-up and stick to it for sometime to get effective results in MI’s fortress; i.e. Wankhede.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Krishnappa Gowtham (wk), Ambati Rayudu (wk), Lendl Simmons (wk), Kulwant Khejroliya, Karn Sharma, Saurabh Tiwary, Asela Gunaratne, Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Shreyas Gopal, Siddhesh Lad, Vinay Kumar, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Jagadeesha Suchith, Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (c), Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mayank Agarwal, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Sam Billings (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Chama Milind, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Aditya Tare (wk), Ankit Bawne, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Shashank Singh, Corey Anderson, Rishabh Pant (wk)
Time: 20:00 PM IST