Riding high after their seven-wicket thrashing of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Lions will face top-of-the-table Mumbai Indians at Rajkot today. Gujarat have six points from eight games, and are placed fifth. The Lions need to win five out of their six games if they want to qualify, and any slip up may put them out of contention. Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, will be looking to put the ghosts of their last match’s defeat against the Rising Pune Supergiants behind them with an easy win over a struggling side.
Dwayne Bravo’s injury affected the balance of the Lions side but it seemed that they had got their overseas combination right against RCB. James Faulkner and Andrew Tye with their variations in bowling along with two T20 dashers like Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch at the top of the order are proving to be helpful for the Lions. Skipper Raina has also been among the runs, amassing 309 runs so far, with a sparkling 34 against RCB. However, he did hurt his shoulder while fielding and was seen in considerable pain while batting. The Lions will hope that their skipper is fully fit for the game today.
The Mumbai batting line-up has been among runs too. However, MI’s highest run-getter Nitish Rana has got out for single digit scores in the last two matches, and will be keen to be back in the mix. Also, Rohit Sharma seemed to get his groove back with his fluent 58 in the unsuccessful run chase against the Pune Supergiants, and Mumbai will hope that the skipper can continue the form in the rest of the tournament.
29 April 2017, 2000 Hrs IST
SCA Stadium, Rajkot
Head to Head
Matches played – 3, Gujarat Lions Won – 2, Mumbai Indians Won – 1
Suresh Raina (captain), Akshadeep Nath, Shubham Agarwal, Basil Thampi, Dwayne Smith, Chirag Suri, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Manpreet Gonly, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Brendon McCullum, Pradeep Sangwan, Jason Roy, Jaydev Shah, Shelly Shaurya, Nathu Singh, Tejas Baroka and Andrew Tye.
Rohit Sharma (captain), Lendl Simmons, Mitchel Johnsohn, Mitchell McClenghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Saurabh Tiwary, Shreyas Gopal, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagdish Suchith, Jaspreet Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Karn Sharma and R Vinay Kumar.
Gujrat Lions Eleven for MI
Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Aaron Finch, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Andrew Tye, Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi, Shadab Bashir Jakati
Mumbai Indians Eleven For GL
Parthiv Patel(w), Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma(c), Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Tim Southee
- MI will bank heavily on Rana and Rohit Sharma to give them a big score to defend. The average first innings total at the Rajkot Stadium is 189, and a big score seems mandatory for a win here.
- Harbhajan Singh will be a key man in the scheme of things, and he has been very effective against Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina, dismissing the skipper on 5 occasions, more than any other bowler. Rohit Sharma will look to him for economy and wickets.
- We will go with Mumbai Indians