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IPL 10, Match 35, GL v MI: Mumbai Indians Predicted XI

A victory in Rajkot will almost certify a berth in the playoffs and more importantly, bring them back to the top of the table.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians players. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The landmark 10th edition of the Indian Premier League has been kind to the Mumbai Indians, giving them their best possible start to the grandiose tournament. In spite of being led by quite a flagging Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians have had games going their way.

The 6-match winning streak proved that this was a side which meant business in this edition of the IPL. The Maharashtra Derby has been the only downside to an otherwise fantastic season for the Mumbai. They lost to the Rising Pune Supergiant in both meetings.

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Skipper Sharma’s heroics were in vain as RPS defeated the Mumbai Indians by 3 runs in a thrilling final over. The Wankhede Stadium witnessed a seesawing game, which eventually went Pune’s way, spoiling the party for birthday boy Sachin Tendulkar.

It’s time now for MI to travel to the Lions’ den as they take on a rejuvenated Gujarat side. Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Mumbai Indians’ clash against the Gujarat Lions on Saturday:

Openers (Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler)

Mumbai Indians have had a couple of blistering starts thanks to these two. Both Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler started off strong against the Rising Pune Supergiant.

Buttler would have been quite disappointed for having been dismissed for 17. He was striking the ball at 130 and his three boundaries had set the tone for the Mumbai chase. Jos Buttler has become a force to reckon with following his 37-ball 77 that deflated the KXIP bowling attack. Buttler’s terrific strike rate of 154.36 right at the top of the order makes him a dangerous batsman.

Similarly, Parthiv Patel also got off to a good start against RPS. Despite looking aggressive, Parthiv has failed to extend his stay at the crease during this IPL. He is yet to register a fifty and will look to improve his average of 21.12. Nevertheless, the little man can pack a punch, as he proved in Mumbai’s whirlwind chase against the Kings XI Punjab.

Top order (Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma)

The last game saw a rare failure from Mumbai’s Mr. Dependable Nitish Rana. He managed to score just 3 runs off 9 before a soft dismissal. However, the youngster has been in the thick of things for Mumbai’s success so far with 3 fifties against his name already, all in winning causes. Rana will look to put his disappointing last game behind and look to come out all guns blazing against the Gujarat Lions.

Captain of the Mumbai Indians Rohit Sharma has had more downs than ups this season. However, he will take great confidence going into Rajkot following his 58 off 39 balls. Rohit indeed played what we call a captain’s knock which almost took Mumbai over the finish line. He struck 6 fours and 3 sixes in his superb yet valiant innings.

Middle order (Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya)

Save Rohit Sharma, no Mumbai Indians batsman could really make an impact in what turned out to be a disappointing loss against the Rising Pune Supergiant. The team’s otherwise sturdy middle order failed in what should have been an easy chase for their standards.

Kieron Pollard got to a run-a-ball 9 before Imran Tahir got the better of him. Hardik Pandya barely got to double figures when Stokes removed him for 13.

With a batting heavy Gujarat Lions side ahead, MI could add some firepower in their own batting line-up by bringing Krunal Pandya back into the side. Krunal made way for leggie Karn Sharma in the previous game. However, he has powered his side to victory on a couple of occasions in this season and will look to do the same in Rajkot.

The Mumbai Indians will indeed hope that Pollard maintains his responsibility he showcased in a match-winning 70 against RCB. Strangely, Kieron Pollard has bowled in just 1 out of 8 games so far. He should be asking his captain to throw the ball to him and show that he can chip in with a couple of wickets as well.

After being unbeaten for 6 consecutive games, Hardik Pandya has lost his wicket in the last couple of matches. His usual job has been to go out and finish games for his side, which he has done on so many occasions. Hardik will look to repeat his finishes against GL.

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

The trans-Tasmanian affair between the two Mitchells didn’t work as well with RPS as it did against the Delhi Daredevils. Both Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell McClenaghan were taken for runs. Johnson had 1 wicket against his name while the Kiwi pacer went wicketless.

However, the duo has bowled with some serious pace. Their intent has clearly been to pressure batsmen up front. Both speedsters will look to engineer a convincing victory for the Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Jasprit Bumrah has had two brilliant games back to back. He gave away 50 runs and picked up 4 wickets in the two games – useful under any circumstances. Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers against RPS with 2 wickets and an economy rate of 7.25.

Speaking of the pick of the bowlers, Harbhajan Singh takes the title for his performances across this season so far. He’s been the silent contributor to the Mumbai Indians’ success on a consistent basis. He picked up the prized wicket of Steve Smith in the last game to arrest RPS’ momentum in the innings. Bhajji’s economy rate in the last game was a miserly 5.00.

Moreover, Harbhajan has maintained a sub-6 economy rate in as many as 7 matches he’s played – the only bowler to have done this in this edition of the tournament. His four overs offer several dot balls, which are like gold dust in T20 cricket.

The Mumbai Indians have perhaps fine-tuned their side just enough to play their strongest XI. There won’t be too much pressure on the team as they are 2 wins away from making the playoffs. A victory in Rajkot will almost certify a berth in the playoffs and more importantly, bring them back to the top of the table.

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