MUMBAI: High on confidence after one of their splendid run-chases across 10 editions, Mumbai Indians will like to continue their winning momentum against a resurgent Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League encounter, here tomorrow.
Gujarat have somewhat redeemed themselves after a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiant while Mumbai have six points from four games shedding their poor starters tag. One area where MI will like to focus on is their top- order collapse against RCB.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree took a hat-trick but it was one of Kieron Pollard's best run-chases that sealed it for the Mumbai outfit. Another area of concern would be skipper Rohit Sharma's inability to read the googly.
Thrice he has played for the leg-break and was deceived by the wrong 'unbowled by Imran Tahir, Rashid Khan and Badree. With three sub-10 scores, Rohit would like to fire against the Gujarat Lions especially on the Wankhede track, which is usually considered friendly for batsmen.
One of the biggest positives for Mumbai has been the form of Pandya brothers -- Hardik and Krunal. They have made a significant all-round contribution in all the matches. Krunal impressed with his unbeaten innings of 37 off 30 balls in a pressure situation in the game against RCB after his 37 off 20 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
This apart, his restrictive left-arm spin has also helped the team in the middle overs. The win showed Mumbai's ability to bounce back into the game from any stage but the team will like to dominate their opponents tomorrow in all departments. Harbhajan Singh has been fantastic in the Powerplay overs and if Lasith Malinga comes back after a match's break.
If Malinga plays tomorrow, he would most likely replace Kiwi pacer Tim Southee, who leaked runs in the game in Bangalore. Another notable aspect will be a lack of dew which becomes a factor during evening matches. For Gujarat Lions, they would like to start with an opening pair of Brandon McCullum and Dwayne Smith, both having regained form. Also, skipper Suresh Raina got some runs under his belt so as Aaron Finch, and this will boost their chances.
All the four batsmen back in form would make any bowling attack in the world worry so of Mumbai's. Even their bowling attack which was hammered so far got a new lease of life with Australian pacer Andrew Tye. Tye, who snapped up the second hattrick of this season, would need support from others especially Praveen Kumar who was list less in the game against RPS.
Ravindra Jadeja and Shadab Jakati's role is crucial for them if they have to restrict Mumbai line up. A definite entertainment for the crowd is on the cards as the hosts would like to continue their love affair with Wankhede and retain the top spot.
Teams: Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Kieron Pollard, Tim Southee, Jos Buttler (wk), Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya,Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Saurabh Tiwary, Karn Sharma, Krishnappa Gowtham, Siddhesh Lad, Nicholas Pooran, Shreyas Gopal, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kulwant Khejroliya.
Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (capt), Akshadeep Nath, Shubham Agarwal, Basil Thampi, Dwayne Bravo, Chirag Suri, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Manpreet Gony, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dhaval Kulkarni, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Shivil Kaushik, Brandon McCullum, Munaf Patel, Pratham Singh, Jason Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Shelly Shaurya, Nathusingh, Dwayne Smith, Tejas Baroka, Andre Tye.