IPL 10, Match 45, DD v MI: Mumbai Indians Predicted XI

They now face off against a revived Delhi Daredevils side, who have had a couple of brilliant games.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo: IANS)

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With the business end of the tournament round the corner, two-time champions Mumbai Indians will be pleased to be sitting pretty at the top of the table. After five days of being off the field, the Mumbai Indians will be back to their cricket well rested. MI have 16 points in the bag, which means they have already made it to the playoffs. What the Mumbai Indians will focus on is to maintain the momentum and stay among the top two, thus giving them the luxury of two cracks at the final.

Whether it’s been chasing down totals, or defending low scores, the Mumbai Indians have nailed it in all circumstances. Encounters against Rising Pune Supergiant have been their Achilles heel, but that aside, Mumbai have played like champions. All said and done, consistency in individual players hasn’t been a characteristic trait in the Mumbai Indians side.

However, they’ve somehow managed to pull things together to eventually be on the winning side. They now face off against a revived Delhi Daredevils side, who have had a couple of brilliant games and are still alive in the tournament. Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Mumbai Indians for their clash against the Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla:

Openers (Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler)

MI’s openers have had a roller coaster ride in this season of the IPL. Both Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler have failed to carry their momentum from one game to the next. Despite looking aggressive at the top, they haven’t been able to make a Warner-Dhawan like impact.

Parthiv got out for a golden duck in MI’s last game. Jos Buttler got off to a start, but as has been the general trend, he failed to convert it into a big knock. Apart from a single score in excess of 70, both batsmen have had a few 30s here and there.

Nevertheless, the Mumbai Indians will bank on the duo’s ability to take the game away from the opposition right from the start. The two batsmen showed that they can make any total look small when they gunned down 200 against the Kings XI Punjab with a blistering start. The Mumbai Indians will hope the duo fire once again at the Kotla and gather some momentum before the knock-out stage.

Middle order (Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard)

It’s been a while since Nitish Rana, who had built a reputation of scoring match-winning fifties, got to a half-century. He last played a lengthy inning in that fantastic chase against KXIP, seeing his side home with an unbeaten 62. However, Rana has failed to get going in the last four games. His 27 against RCB was at a sub-100 strike rate too.

In contrast, Rohit Sharma seems to be improving as the tournament has progressed, which is not only a good sign for the Mumbai Indians, but also for Team India. Having started the IPL with a string of single digit scores, Rohit has grown in terms of responsibility in the second half of the tournament.

On two occasions now, Rohit has stayed till the end to guide his team over the finish line. Despite a well-made fifty, he was unlucky to have been dismissed a few runs short of a victory against RPS. However, Rohit will look to maintain his good run with the bat and take his team forward through the playoffs as well.

Kieron Pollard has had a similar story to that of Nitish Rana as well. Since his match-saving 70 which bailed MI out from a certain defeat against RCB, he hasn’t looked the aggressive batsman he’s known to be. He did follow up that 70 with a well-made 39, but the contributions have dried up ever since. With the pressure of making the playoffs out of the picture, it should allow Kieron Pollard to go out there and express himself with the bat.

All-rounders (Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya)

The Pandya Brothers have been vital cogs in the MI wheel. The siblings have had a sizable contribution to Mumbai Indians’ success this season. Both Hardik and Krunal have come lower down the order to play some short yet flamboyant knocks. In the bowling department, they have chipped in with wickets when the side has needed them.

Krunal Pandya, in particular, has been quite sensational with the ball. In his last three games, he’s picked up 5 wickets and given away just 56 runs. As he’s done so often, Hardik Pandya was back in action to finish a game for his side. Although Krunal retired hurt in MI’s chase against RCB, he should be up and running for the encounter against the Delhi Daredevils.

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

The two Mitchells must bowl in tandem against the Delhi Daredevils, as the last time around, this pace duo bowled exceptionally against this opposition. Mitchell McClenaghan, in particular, went wicketless for two games. However, he was back in the thick of things against RCB to finish with figures of 3-34.

Johnson has been unlucky to have played only a couple of games for MI this season. He picked up just the one wicket and ceded his place to Lasith Malinga. Despite being in his sunset days, Johnson is as fearsome as fast bowlers come. The trans-Tasmanian duo have bowled with some serious pace. Their intent has been clear to pressure batsmen up front. Both speedsters will look to engineer a convincing victory for the Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Super Over hero Jasprit Bumrah went for a few runs in the last game. He leaked 33 runs, but also chipped in with the wicket of Shane Watson. What his figures don’t project are his accurate and effective yorkers, which he used perfectly in the Super Over against the Gujarat Lions. Bumrah’s good run with the ball will be a positive for Mumbai as they head into the knock-out stage of the IPL.

The pick of the bowlers for Mumbai Indians has undoubtedly been Harbhajan Singh. It was strange to see him left out of MI’s last game against RCB. He’s been the silent contributor to the Mumbai Indians’ success on a consistent basis. Harbhajan has bagged just 5 wickets this season but has maintained a sub-6 economy rate in as many as 8 matches he’s played. Bhajji’s strength has been his economy – his four overs offer several dot balls, which are invaluable in the shortest format of the game.

Nothing should stop the Mumbai Indians to book a place in the first Qualifier if they maintain their consistency as a unit. What MI will focus on is to have some sparkling individual performances through the last four games in the league phase. The Delhi Daredevils will be a worthy opponent for the table toppers. The Kotla is certainly going to host a crackerjack of a game.