Mumbai and Delhi have both lost their opening matches in the IPL. Both of the former’s losses have come by a margin of just 1 wicket, while the latter was unfairly at the receiving end of the DRS system. Mumbai have struggled with the bat in both their matches, relying on the brilliance of their bowlers to tighten the margins.
The home team have made a bad habit of starting their campaigns with losses whereas Delhi has always struggled to perform as a unit in the IPL. Gambhir vs Rohit should be an interesting encounter, especially because of how important tactics will be.
Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir(c), Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett
Rohit Sharma(c), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan
Where the teams stand
Glenn Maxwell’s inclusion in the side is a huge boon for their middle order. Rishabh Pant has been in good form, but besides him, Shreyas Iyer and Vijay Shankar form a very ordinary middle order. Maxwell will provide some much-needed muscle if he can bat with a cool head. His comfort with pace means he might be suitable much higher up the order, possibly even open with Gambhir. Munro could be dropped in favour of Daniel Christian to strengthen the middle order instead. The management needs to find the right combination for their side, and tinkering with it early on seems like the best way to go. The opening pair, with or without Maxwell, will be crucial to Delhi and their chances of posting a competitive score.
One glaring issue for Delhi is that, besides Gautam Gambhir, most of their batsmen cannot play spin well. Maxwell, Pant, Munro, and Christian all thrive on pace but struggle against spin. Thankfully for them, Mumbai’s attack is very pace heavy. Gambhir likes his spinners, using two in every match as opposed to Mumbai’s one. Delhi’s bowling unit consists of some big names, but they have not done those names much justice. They lost the plot in the last overs before play stopped, and were expensive against Punjab as well. If Gambhir wins the toss, he must bowl first. If they perform, it will be an easy chase for the batsmen. If not, they will have a clear target to chase.
Fantasy Picks: Rishabh Pant and Gautam Gambhir are two reliable picks from the Delhi outfit. Morris is a player whose all-round skills should also fetch his squad several points. Shreyas Iyer and Vijay Shankar are perhaps the most unpredictable picks from DD. Selecting one of the bowlers is a gamble, but Boult and Shami are the safest picks in that department.
Mumbai’s batting order suffers from the same issue as Delhi’s, a weak middle order. Kishan, Yadav, and the Pandya brothers just do not form a very stable or reliable lineup. They included Ben Cutting in the last match to strengthen the middle order at the expense of McClenaghan. Hardik missed out due to an ankle injury he sustained against CSK. It is unknown whether he will return in time for this game. Sangwan replaced him, and disappointed in the two overs he bowled. Mumbai do not have any reliable replacements, especially since Cutting was expensive with the ball and ineffective with the bat. They desperately need Hardik to be fit for this game, especially since he took 3 wickets against CSK.
Mayank Markande has been simply phenomenal for the Indians in both the games they have played so far. He has taken 7 wickets with an average economy of 5.75. These astonishing stats are the reason the loss margins for Mumbai has been just one wicket. In both matches, one bowler besides him has contributed and taken 3 wickets to aid the cause. First it was Hardik, and then Rahman. Mumbai cannot keep relying on their bowlers to cover for their batsmen, who need to post bigger totals. Every match so far has seen the team batting second go on to win the match, so the toss is bound to be crucial. Sharma must also figure out the right combination for his team should Pandya remain unfit for the match.
Fantasy Picks: Definitely Mayank Markande based on match performances. Suryakumar Yadav has also looked decent with the bat so far, but the Mumbai batting has not been the strongest overall. This is going to be a good guessing game for who out of them will perform.
Delhi win. As serial chasers with a great bowling attack against a so far mediocre batting, Delhi has a slight advantage.
Who will notch a much-needed win in this clash, the Mumbai Indians or Delhi Daredevils? Let us know in the comments and poll below.