The Mumbai Indians, quite ironically, have had a brilliant start to their IPL campaign this season as they have won 3 matches on the trot. They would be looking to continue their good run at the Wankhede as they take on the Lions in front of a stadium packed with children as part of an MI initiative. The Lions have been bruised early in the tournament but they came roaring back against the Supergiant. A bruised lion is twice as dangerous. Here is the Match Preview and Predictions for Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Lions.
The Wankhede has traditionally been a belter of a track with the pitch often being compared to a concrete road. Today’s match is expected to be no different with batsmen ruling the match. We have seen dew in the last couple of matches at this venue. However, it will not have much effect today as it is a 4pm game and the match would be over before the dew sets in. Bowlers are expected to get little or no assistance from the pitch.
GUJARAT LIONS – STRENGTHS
With the top order packed with brilliant batsmen of international repute, the Lions have their batting department sorted. McCullum and Smith gave the Lions a brilliant start in the previous match with Raina joining the party later. With Finch, Karthik, Jadeja and Ishan Kishan completing the lineup, the Gujarat team is expected to have a field day at the Wankhede. Also, Andrew Tye has provided the much needed balance to their bowling attack with a marvelous 5-for including a hat-trick on IPL debut.
GUJARAT LIONS – CONCERNS
The Indian bowling attack looks still be a concern in spite of the return of Jadeja to the GL ranks. The experienced duo of Praveen Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja are expected to lead the young Indian bowling brigade. Shadab Jakati has been pretty expensive and may have to be replaced by Shivil Kaushik. The Lions also need to be wary of the Mumbai Indians bowling attack which seems to be doing well as a unit.
MUMBAI INDIANS – STRENGTHS
The Mumbai Indians have looked extremely settled so far in the tournament. Buttler and Parthiv have given them good starts on most occasions. Youngsters like Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya have been extremely impressive whenever given an opportunity. Kierron Pollard coming to form in the previous game is just what the Mumbai team was looking for. The bowling attack looks lethal with Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Lasith Malinga and the others making a huge impact on the match. To win on a pitch like Wankhede, a brilliant display of intelligent bowling is essential.
MUMBAI INDIANS – CONCERNS
Rohit Sharma’s indifferent form would be a cause of worry for Jayawardena and the team management would need to take a call on where they should be playing their captain. There has been a huge debate on whether Rohit Sharma should be opening the innings or playing in the middle order. They need to come up with a proper strategy to ensure the best balance for the team. Lasith Malinga’s fitness would also be a cause of concern for the Mumbai Indians.
ALSO READ :
GL – Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan, Andrew Tye, Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi, Shivil Kaushik
MI – Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma, Nitish Rana, Kierron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Played – 2, GL won – 2, MI won – 0
CONCLUSION AND MATCH PREDICTION
Both the teams would look to extend their points tally in today’s match. Wankhede has been a chasers’ paradise. Both GL and MI are brilliant chasers with MI winning 8 of their last 10 chases and GL winning 9 out of 11. The toss may well determine the outcome of the match. However, with dew playing no part in today’s proceedings, the match should be well contested and gripping. Here’s our prediction for today’s match.
TOSS – GL wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 180-190
MATCH – GL win by 7 wickets with 14 balls remaining.
TOSS – MI wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 175-185
MATCH – MI win by 6 wickets with 19 balls remaining