Red-hot Mumbai Indians will look to continue their winning momentum while Gujarat Lions will hope to prove that their last start win wasn’t a flash in the pan.
Both teams meet at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, April 16.
Mumbai Indians looked down and out against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday only for Kieron Pollard to take them past the line. The burly Trinidadian has not been among runs recently so this performance augurs well for Mumbai.
This after starting the season on a wrong note by losing to Pune Supergiant. They did come back into form by winning three straight games – Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mumbai’s success overshadows their problems at the top of the order with Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler struggling to score quick. Rohit Sharma’s position in the batting order isn’t settled and he should ideally be opening. Thankfully, Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal – have been consistent with both bat and ball.
Gujarat Lions started the season on a wrong note losing both their opening matches. In the season opener against Kolkata Knight Riders, they have been smashed all over the park for a ten-wicket loss. And then against Hyderabad Sunrisers they lost by nine wickets.
Bowling had been their Achilles’ heel because of their dependence on domestic bowlers. But the addition of Andrew Tye to the line-up changed their complexion and performance against Rising Pune Supergiant. Questions still hover around the performance of domestic bowlers although the return of Ravindra Jadeja is a positive.
The aggression of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith at the top is what defines their batting – like in the match against Pune.
Lasith Malinga should be back from injury and take his place ahead of Tim Southee. The persistence with Mitchell McCleneghan should continue after the Kiwi showed improvement against Bangalore.
Lions looked balanced having Tye in the playing XI. Though the verdict is out on the domestic pace bowlers, they may just get one more chance.
Gujarat Lions won both the matches last season against Mumbai Indians. At the Wankhede, they won by three-wickets thanks to Finch’s fifty. Then it was Raina’s fifty that helped them pinch a six-wicket win at Kanpur.
Mumbai looks to have gained momentum and should be favourites for this match. Odds on their win are $1.70 (Unibet
) while the Lions are tipped to win at odds of $2.22 (Sportsbet
). Mumbai get the job done.
Rohit’s tryst with IPL has several success chapters. This season hasn’t really seen him click. Will this match change his form for this year? Back him to be top Mumbai batsman.
After waiting for his turn to play for the Lions, Tye proved emphatically why he is a master of T20 bowling. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t play. Back him to lead the bowling charts for the Lions.