They have made their best ever start to an IPL season. They are unstoppable. And they have all bases covered. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, ‘they’ are Mumbai Indians (MI), who are sitting pretty at the top of IPL 2017 points table ahead of match 25, which will be played at the Wankhede Stadium tonight. Delhi Daredevils (DD) have ended up on the wrong side of the results in their last two matches, despite having not played badly.
The challenge for Mumbai, having made a rollicking start, is maintaining this intensity and sealing their place in the IPL 2017 playoffs as quickly as possible. Last season, we saw that the team (Gujarat Lions) who finished first at the end of the league stage, did not make the final. And so, for Mumbai too, being top of the table does not mean much not just at this stage but also if they remain there come the end of the league stage.
After two consecutive losses against two good teams, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi take on another contender for the title this season (MI) in match 25. Zaheer Khan has marshalled his young troops quite well so far, and they will dearly love a win at the Wankhede, which is Mumbai’s fortress. Sanju Samson has a good record as a batsman against tonight’s hosts and Corey Anderson, whose hitherto IPL side was Mumbai, will want to do well if he makes the playing XI.
With this being a night match, expect the dew to once again be a major factor and the toss, consequently, having a potentially massive bearing on the match result.
Form guide: MI vs DD
Mumbai: WWWWWL (from left to right, most recent result first; current position on the points table: 1st)
Delhi: LLWWL (from left to right, most recent result first; current position on the points table: 4th)
MI vs DD Head-to-head
Daredevils are one of the few teams who have a very good head-to-head record against Mumbai. Although history has little to no relevance in any sport, Delhi can take heart from the fact that they have done well against tonight’s hosts in the past.
Delhi and Mumbai share a head-to-head record of nine wins apiece in 18 meetings so far.
MI 9-9 DD
Match 25: MI vs DD Playing XI
Mumbai Indians‘ playing XI has been the same for their last two matches and they have no reason to change a winning combination for tonight’s encounter against Delhi.
The team management might be slightly worried by Lasith Malinga’s bowling form, with the unorthodox Srilankan pacer conceding 109 runs in his last eight overs—an economy rate of 13.62—without taking a wicket. But because he is their talisman, I doubt Mumbai dropping Malinga. Mitchell McClenaghan was expensive against Kings XI Punjab, having bowled economically in the previous two matches, against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions.
Although Mitchell Johnson must be frustrated from sitting out, along with Lendl Simmons, who was integral to Mumbai winning their second IPL title, we will not see changes to Mumbai’s playing XI for tonight’s match unless a player has picked up an injury or illness since Thursday night.
MI’s probable playing XI vs DD is as follows: 1. Rohit Sharma (C), 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Jos Buttler, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Krunal Pandya, 8. Harbhajan Singh, 9. Lasith Malinga, 10. Mitchell McClenaghan, and 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Actual playing XI for MI: 1. Rohit Sharma (C), 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Jos Buttler, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Krunal Pandya, 8. Harbhajan Singh, 9. Mitchell Johnson, 10. Mitchell McClenaghan, and 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Malinga is unwell.
Delhi, as I said, have not played badly at all. Yes, their failure to win the crunch moments against Knight Riders and Sunrisers ultimately cost them. But the key is to not let defeats affect the team morale and what the team believes/has believed in.
Going into tonight’s clash, Delhi have a couple of selection decisions to make. Angelo Mathews has failed to contribute as an all-rounder in the last two matches he played, and his place is presumed to be under threat. The biggest myth has been Shahbaz Nadeem being dropped despite providing his team control and wickets during the middle phase of the innings.
I will not be surprised if Kagiso Rabada, who has watched Pat Cummins play ahead of him, comes into the playing XI, considering the dewy conditions in Mumbai and pacer-friendly Wankhede pitch. Jayant Yadav played the last match and was quite economical in the two overs he bowled, conceding 16 runs. However, unless he is injured, Nadeem is expected to play in place of Jayant.
DD’s probable playing XI vs MI is as follows: 1. Zaheer Khan (c), 2. Sam Billings, 3. Sanju Samson, 4. Karun Nair, 5. Shreyas Iyer, 6. Rishabh Pant, 7. Chris Morris, 8. Kagiso Rabada/Corey Anderson, 9. Shahbaz Nadeem, 10. Amit Mishra, and 11. Pat Cummins
Actual playing XI for DD: 1. Zaheer Khan (c), 2. Aditya Tare, 3. Sanju Samson, 4. Karun Nair, 5. Shreyas Iyer, 6. Rishabh Pant, 7. Chris Morris, 8. Kagiso Rabada, 9. Corey Anderson, 10. Amit Mishra, and 11. Pat Cummins