Mumbai: On a roll after five wins on the trot, table-toppers Mumbai Indians will look to continue their domination when they clash with struggling Delhi Daredevils in an IPL game, here on Saturday.
The Rohit Sharma-led side mauled Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets while chasing a challenging 198-run target with Englishman Jos Buttler smashing 77 off 37 balls.
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Mumbai will be pleased with the consistency of Orange Cap holder Nitish Rana, who is getting better by the day. Rana, who has so far amassed 255 runs this IPL season, remained unbeaten on 62 to take his side home against Punjab on Thursday.
With Rohit, Rana, Patel brothers Hardik and Krunal, wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and Butler in form, any team will be wary of Mumbai.
It is apparent that Mumbai like to chase than setting targets with all five of their five wins -- against Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Lions and Punjab -- coming batting second. Mumbai's lone defeat had come while batting first to Rising Pune Supergiant in their opening game.
The best thing for the home side has been that they have not depended on a single batsman. All of them have chipped in with runs to shape the team's success.
The Mumbai bowlers went for runs in the home game against Gujarat Lions and Punjab. This would be an area of definite concern for the team management. The team, which possesses quality bowlers like Lasith Malinga, seasoned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah among others, will have to bowl well to restrict the opposition.
Malinga, who has been leaking runs, may be replaced by Kiwi paceman Tim Southee.
For Daredevils', young guns Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant have contributed nicely, but they will need their top order that includes Sam Billings and Karun Nair to fire in unison against Mumbai.
Billings along with Samson will have to provide Delhi a solid start, especially on a Wankhede track, which is usually full of runs.
Contribution by Mumbai boy Shreyas Iyer, who sort of knows the pitch, will be crucial for the visitors if they have to pile up a big total. Iyer made a breezy 50 off 31 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad, which ended in a losing cause.
It will be interesting to see if Daredevils an off-color Angelo Matthews, who went for 41 in three overs in their last game.
South African Chris Morris, who returned a four-wicket haul, will need to replicate his performance and has to get support from seasoned pacer and skipper Zaheer Khan and Australian Pat Cummins.
If Mumbai batting line-up has to be restricted, role of spinners especially Amit Misha will be crucial.
Going into the game, Mumbai have an upper hand and the team will like to continue their love affair with Wankhede by winning their sixth straight game and consolidate their stay at the top.
The squads (from): Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Parthiv Patel, Tim Southee, Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Saurabh Tiwary, Karn Sharma, Krishnappa Gowtham, Siddhesh Lad, Nicholas Pooran, Shreyas Gopal, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kulwant Khejroliya.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (capt), Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, C.V. Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings.
Match starts at 8 pm