Mumbai Indians (MI) were the winners when they hosted Gujarat Lions (GL) in the first meeting between these two teams earlier this season. A half-century from Brendon McCullum (64) and an unbeaten 48 from Dinesh Karthik had given Lions a competitive total of 176 batting first. But Mumbai, with their in-form batting line-up, chased it down in the last over of the match and won by six wickets.
Gujarat will have garnered plenty of confidence from their seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. But Mumbai are an entirely different opposition to the struggling RCB.
GL vs MI Head-to-head
Gujarat lead the head-to-head record against Mumbai by 2-1. They won both their matches against last season’s defending champions, but Mumbai produced a good team performance at the Wankhede Stadium to break their duck against Lions.
Tonight’s meeting between Lions and Mumbai at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot will be these two teams’ first at this venue.
Form guide: GL vs MI
Match 35: GL vs MI Playing XI
Gujarat had a better balance to the playing XI they had picked for the clash against Royal Challengers. But as aforementioned, Mumbai are a more resourceful opponent who have also been on top of their game so far this season.
Ankit Soni, a leg spinner, was handed his debut against Bangalore on Thursday and he bowled a decent spell, conceding 28 runs in three overs and taking the wicket of Pawan Negi. For the match against Mumbai, though, Soni might make way for Irfan Pathan, who has been brought in as a replacement for Dwayne Bravo.
Other than this possible change, I don’t think Lions will make changes to their playing XI from the win over Bangalore.
GL’s probable playing XI vs MI: 1. Suresh Raina (c), 2. Brendon McCullum, 3. Aaron Finch, 4. Dinesh Karthik (wk), 5. Ishan Kishan, 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Andrew Tye, 8. James Faulkner, 9. Irfan Pathan/Ankit Soni, 10. Basil Thampi, and 11. Nathu Singh
Actual playing XI for Gujarat: 1. Suresh Raina (c), 2. Brendon McCullum, 3. Aaron Finch, 4. Dinesh Karthik (wk), 5. Ishan Kishan, 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Andrew Tye, 8. James Faulkner, 9. Irfan Pathan, 10. Basil Thampi, and 11. Ankit Soni
Mumbai’s six-match winning streak was brought to an end by Rising Pune and for the first time this season, the Mumbai batting line-up failed to fire. A fighting and authoritative half-century from Rohit Sharma proved insufficient and the hosts lost by three runs.
Despite their loss, Mumbai are unlikely to make changes to what is a settled playing XI. Krunal Pandya missed the Maharashtra derby due to an injury. And, in case the Baroda all-rounder has regained fitness, he is likely to come straight back into the side, in place of Karn Sharma.
Lasith Malinga has uncharacteristically failed to provide control at the start of the innings or at the death, the stage when he holds his own with his ability to find the blockhole and bowl the right lengths for the slower deliveries.
Thankfully for Mumbai, they have an able replacement for the Srilankan in Mitchell Johnson, who has bowled quite well in the last two matches. I expect the Australian to retain his place in the side, though Malinga might be brought back as well, with his being the Mumbai franchise’s No. 1 bowler.
MI’s probable playing XI vs GL is as follows: 1. Rohit Sharma (c), 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Jos Buttler, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Krunal Pandya, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Harbhajan Singh, 9. Mitchell McClenaghan, 10. Lasith Malinga, and 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Update: Mumbai’s playing XI is the same as what Cricfooty had predicted, with Malinga replacing Johnson and Krunal Pandya returning to the side.