Mumbai Indians will be hoping luck favours them again as they attempt to break a losing streak against Gujarat Lions at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (April 16).
Against all odds, Mumbai valiantly fought back to a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday and climbed to the top of the table. Victory came courtesy a special innings from Kieron Pollard, who managed to nullify the effect of Samuel Badree’s hat-trick in Bangalore.
Gujarat, meanwhile, capitalised on their hat-trick by Andrew Tye and earned their first win of the season, moving them one spot up from the bottom of the table.
Confidence won’t be an issue when both teams meet on a sultry afternoon in Mumbai with spectacular wins behind them. Gujarat especially will be buoyed by the success of Tye, whose knuckle ball proved difficult to crack. Their bowling finally clicked, despite Praveen Kumar returning expensive figures of 1 for 51, and the return of Ravindra Jadeja offered balance.
The shuffle in the overseas batsmen with Aaron Finch coming in and Dwayne Smith replacing Jason Roy as the second opener worked wonders. Suresh Raina will also be confident in his own batting after consistent contributions in the last three matches, along with some inspired fielding, such as the one-handed diving catch off the third ball of Pune’s innings to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane.
Mumbai, on the other hand, will be worried about the form of their captain, Rohit Sharma, who has made single digit scores in IPL 2017 so far. Others like Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel and, recently, Pollard have stepped up, but it would be worth noting that if Pollard hadn’t rescued Mumbai from the abyss they were staring down at against Bangalore, Rohit might have had difficult questions to answer about his form.
Mumbai will have their home crowd behind them, but knowing that Gujarat’s explosive top order could bat them out reinforces the importance of their bowling attack in Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga (if the Sri Lankan has recovered from illness). Restricting Gujarat to a low score should be possible for Mumbai, with the batsmen doing the rest.
Played 2. Mumbai 0. Gujarat 2.
Head-to-head record at the Wankhede Stadium:
Played 1. Mumbai 0. Gujarat 1.