Probable Mumbai Indians (MI) Playing 11 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

IPL 2021: Match 31 – Strongest Mumbai Indians (MI) Predicted Playing XI against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

Can Mumbai Indians continue their winning run in Delhi?

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Mumbai Indians is that old scooter that always needs a few kicks before it turns on. But that is all it takes as once it starts, there is no stopping. They are the slow starters but the toughest challenge in the IPL for any team remains to stop once the Indians are on song.

They entered with worry-wrinkles on the foreheads when came to Delhi after losing three games in the Chennai leg out of five. But two emphatic victories have followed at the new venue, the most recent coming against their arch-rivals and a clinical Chennai Super Kings. The Super Kings’ five-match-winning streak was halted by Kieron Pollard’s unbeaten blitz (87 off 34) that led his side to pull off the second-highest chase in the IPL history.

After wins over Rajasthan Royals and Super Kings, MI will be against the turbulence-hit Sunrisers Hyderabad, who seem to be going through too much at the point, as they reel at the bottom of the points table with only a win in seven games. On recent form, this contest might well fall in the foregone conclusion category. Would MI manage to maintain their winning run in Delhi? What would be the ideal XI for that?

Here’s the Predicted Playing XI of Mumbai Indians (MI) for IPL 2021 Match 31:

Openers – Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

In a whopping 219-chase, both Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock took their team to a flyer, adding 71 at a brisk pace before Rohit’s 24-ball 35 was cut short by Shardul Thakur. Ever since Mumbai’s entry in Delhi, the fortunes for de Kock seem to have changed. He remained unbeaten on 70 from 50 in what proved to be a match-winning knock during MI’s 7-wicket win over RR, while against CSK he got a 28-ball 38. If the openers can continue in the same vein, many of MI’s problems will be solved as Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya can take things forward with ease.

Middle-order – Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Suryakumar Yadav had no business in the previous rubber. Unlike other innings, where Yadav would get a stellar start with some full-of-intent hits before squandering his start, against CSK, he departed after facing only three balls and getting as many runs.

All-rounders – Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Neesham

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)

Krunal Pandya has finally got back amongst the runs, and that too in some style. His 26-ball 39 steadied Mumbai against Rajasthan as they lost a couple of wickets in quick time, while a quick-fire cameo against CSK (23-ball 32) was enough to highlight that he has got his mojo back.

Meanwhile, his brother Hardik Pandya is yet to get into the 20s this season. He smoked consecutive sixes against Sam Curran in the last game but holed out for 16. However, hit-out or get-out was the need of the moment with the game heading towards a crunch finish.

The previous game was entirely a one-man show for the Indians. With the ball, Pollard claimed two crucial wickets in quick time to dent CSK’s momentum after a century-stand between Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali. In a game where the opponents scored runs at 11 runs per over, Pollard gave just 12 runs in two overs plus took two wickets. With the bat, his carnage was for all to see. In an innings jeweled with eight towering sixes and six fours, he smothered 87 off just 34 at 255.88 to take MI to their highest successful chase.

Brought in for Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Neesham failed to make much impact as he bagged a golden duck and returned with figures of 0/26 from a two-over spell.

Bowlers – Dhawal Kulkarni, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah of Mumbai Indians
Jasprit Bumrah of Mumbai Indians. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Mumbai Indians made a couple of tactical changes in their bowling, roping in Dhawal Kulkarni for Jayant Yadav and Neesham for Coulter-Nile. However, neither move paid much. But on a day when Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult were not spared, one had little to expect from Kulkarni, who leaked 48 from his quota against CSK.

On a rare off day, Bumrah ended up giving 56 runs: his most expensive spell in the IPL. There was not much luck for his pace partner Trent Boult either, who returned with 1/42 from four overs. On the other hand, even as Rahul Chahar did not get success, he remained economical in the context of the game (0/35). But they all pick themselves.