IPL 10, Match 28, MI v RPS: Mumbai Indians Predicted XI

A win against RPS will allow the Mumbai Indians to shoot for the top two, giving them two cracks at the all-important final.

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Mumbai Indians. (Photo Source: BCCI)

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The Mumbai Indians are currently reveling in their best ever start to the Indian Premier League with six wins on the trot. Following some underwhelming batting from an otherwise sturdy line-up, Mumbai were up against all odds as they went into the second innings of their last game against the Delhi Daredevils.

Mumbai’s chances of defending 142 on a chase-friendly Wankhede wicket looked bleak, if not impossible. However, the Mumbai Indians bowlers inflicted a top order collapse in the Daredevils line-up. The Delhi batsmen fell like skittles as Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan wreaked havoc, much to the dismay of Rahul Dravid, who failed to comprehend what was happening out in the middle. A decent South African resistance from Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada almost scripted a stunning victory, but the duo had too much to do in the dying stages of the match.

In spite of a 14-run victory, credit must definitely go to the Mumbai quicks. They need to examine where such a consistent batting line-up went wrong. Following an unbeaten 40 against the Gujarat Lions, Rohit Sharma might have thought that he’s left his miserable form behind him. However, his love-affair with leggies was back to prey on him, as Rohit perished cheaply to yet another leg spinner.

If blame games are to be played, every Mumbai batsman will find themselves on the receiving end of the criticism. A side which chased down as many as 199 runs with 27 balls to spare had only three batsmen scoring 20+ runs in the last game. Nobody looked at ease while at the crease, even Jos Buttler’s 18-ball 28 saw him score boundaries off the top edge.

The Mumbai Indians sure have defended their fortress, but they will be forced to tie up the loose ends after a poor batting performance by their standards. They now take on a Rising Pune Supergiant side which is beginning to find some momentum in the IPL. On the momentous occasion of Sachin Tendulkar’s 44th birthday, the Wankhede Stadium will play host to the second Maharashtrian Derby of the season.

Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Mumbai Indians for their clash against the Rising Pune Supergiant.

Openers (Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler)

The openers for the Mumbai Indians have done a fine job so far in the season barring a couple of hiccups they’ve had at the start. Their encounter against the Daredevils saw the duo put on 37 runs which was incidentally the biggest partnership of the Mumbai innings in a matter of 4 overs. However, what goes unnoticed is that there were 10 extras in that partnership. Parthiv contributed a mere 8 off 11 in the stand, while Jos Buttler looked the aggressor.

Parthiv Patel’s inconsistency is what hinders him from cementing his place in any team. However, the little man has looked to attack from ball one. A look back to his blitz against the Kings XI Punjab could perhaps restore faith in his ability.

Although he looked a little edgy against the Daredevils, England’s Jos Buttler partly carried his brilliant form into this game. His 77 off 37 was the driving force in Mumbai gunning down 199 against KXIP, thus recording their highest successful IPL chase.

All said and done, both wicket-keeper batsmen have looked to be on the offensive from the outset. With Mumbai sitting pretty at the top spot and with a couple of performances to back their abilities, this opening duo is most likely to start proceedings for the remainder of the tournament.

Middle order (Nitish Rana and Rohit Sharma)

Amongst all of Mumbai’s batsmen, Nitish Rana has certainly looked the most comfortable at the crease. The youngster exudes confidence, and tactfully mixes his exquisite strokeplay with the big shots. Despite a slight failure in the last game, Nitish Rana will be raring to go come April 24.

However, Rohit Sharma can at no cost escape with the same excuse. India’s opener in the limited overs format has looked rather clueless when facing spin, namely the leg spinners. Amit Mishra now joins a list of three other proficient leggies to have dismissed Rohit in this edition of the IPL alone. Except his 40 not out against GL, Rohit’s scores in this IPL are 3, 2, 4, 0, and 5.

Rohit seriously needs to get his game together in the second half of the tournament if he indeed wants to be on a flight to the UK in June for the Champions Trophy. With a set of prospective openers making a case for being selected in the national squad, it is high time Rohit Sharma brought back consistency to his batting.

Lower middle order (Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya)

Fortunately for Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, they were two amongst the three batsmen who crossed the 20 run mark in the last game. Krunal, on the other hand, added 17 runs to Mumbai’s 142.

Barring this game, however, this is a bunch order which has looked in great touch. To begin with, Kieron Pollard has finally found some form. More importantly, he has taken on the role of a responsible batsman rather than a big-hitter. His 70 which rescued Mumbai who were reeling at 7-4 against RCB was a career defining innings.

The Pandya brothers, on the other hand, have consistently been in the thick of things for the Mumbai Indians. Be it their quick contributions with the bat or their useful four overs with the ball, Hardik and Krunal have had a hand in Mumbai’s victories.

Another strong performance from this solid lower middle order could script a seventh straight victory for the Mumbai Indians.

Bowlers (Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah)

Rarely would a side drop a bowler like Lasith Malinga when it has his services at its disposal for a T20 game. Nevertheless, a couple of lackluster performances from the Sri Lankan speedster brought Australia’s Mitchell Johnson back into the playing XI.

As has been Johnson’s image, he delivered a fiery spell of 4 overs giving away just 23. Johnson’s opening spell set the tone for the Mumbai Indians defense, although he had nothing to show for in the wickets column.

The bowlers who reaped the benefits of Johnson’s tidy spell were Mitchell McCleneghan and Jasprit Bumrah. Lasith Malinga has obviously been the king of the IPL in the bowling department, but it’s the Kiwi pacer who has been Mumbai’s most successful bowler of late. His figures of 3/24 spoke volumes about his ability to rattle the batsmen early on in the innings.

India’s Jasprit Bumrah was perhaps even better than McClenaghan. Under Malinga’s tutelage, Bumrah has become a wonderful exponent of the yorker. He stuck to his cards and bowled to his strengths, and his 2/21 had a major role to play in Mumbai’s victory against DD.

Harbhajan Singh’s contribution has sadly gone slightly unnoticed. The veteran off-spinner has given away a maximum of 27 runs in a single match in this season of the IPL so far. Harbhajan has picked up 5 wickets in total, but where he’s been excellent is the economy rate. The offie has been a silent contributor to the Mumbai Indians’ success story.

The batting woes will be a few for the Mumbai Indians as they go into the game against the Rising Pune Supergiant. But momentum is entirely with this side which is rampaging through the IPL this year. 12 points already on the board means Mumbai need just 2 more victories from the next 7 games to book a spot in the qualifiers. A win against RPS will allow the Mumbai Indians to shoot for the top two, giving them two cracks at the all-important final.