While Mumbai went down to Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad by identical one-wicket margins in edge-of-the-seat thrillers, Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi succumbed to Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals in their first two games.
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Mumbai's batting line-up which boasts of attacking players like skipper Rohit Sharma, West Indians Elvin Lewis, Kieron Pollard and Suryakumar Yadav has failed to fire in unison in the first two games.
The hosts would especially hope for an end to the dismal run of skipper Rohit, who fell cheaply in both the games after a largely forgettable tour of South Africa and some modest run in the tri-series in Sri Lanka prior to the commencement of the T20 League.
Rohit's form is crucial for Mumbai and with Lewis too not coming good, the opening partnership has been struggling to get going. Mumbai could look at promoting Krunal Pandya up the order if his injured brother Hardik, who did not play in the game against Sunrisers last night, again misses tomorrow's match.
On the plus side for MI, Yadav has been among runs and his role will be a key element for the team, especially if the team loses early wickets. In both the games MI lacked big partnerships. Among the bowlers, rookie leg spinner Mayank Markande has been brilliant in the two games. His seven wickets, including the four scalps that he captured in a low-scoring tie against Sunrisers at Hyderabad last night, earned him the purple cap.
The Punjab-born wrist spinner has been relying mostly on googlies as his wicket taking balls and his performance would be key to Mumbai's success. Markande, however, has lacked adequate support from the other bowlers pacers Muztifizur Rehman, Jasprit Bumrah, Pradeep Sangwan and Krunal.
First Published: April 14, 2018, 12:25 PM IST