Rohit’s Men In Blue Take On Kevin Pietersen’s Struggling Delhi

One victory could lift the mood inside the camp and that’s what it has done to the Mumbai Indians who are on a high after their win against the table toppers Kings XI Punjab.

One victory could lift the mood inside the camp and that’s what it has done to the Mumbai Indians who are on a high after their win against the table toppers Kings XI Punjab. 

The impressive seven-wicket victory on Tuesday, even without the likes of Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh has created slender hopes for Mumbai for a berth in the four-team play-offs. The return to their fortress, Wankhede Stadium, where they have lost just once in their last 11 games, spreading over to last season, would be a comforting factor for skipper Rohit Sharma.

Sharma himself exuded the belief that his side can still make the play offs after lifting themselves to the fifth spot on the table. A lot has happened since then as MI have resurrected their campaign after returning home but defeats to CSK and KKR have left them depending on other results. The holders have to win their game against the Daredevils as well as the next one on Sunday against Rajasthan Royals to take their points tally to 14 but might yet lose out if other results don’t go in their favour.

The decision to hire West Indian Lendl Simmons for the home leg of the tournament seems to have worked wonders as the Trinidadian has been on a roll. He scored this season’s IPL’S first century, an unbeaten 100 against Kings XI Punjab. Scores of 38, 68, 12, 62 and 100 not out in his last five strikes have put the 29-year-old Simmons 20 runs short of the 300-run mark in just five games. Veteran Australian Mike Hussey, who flopped in UAE also returned to form with a knock of 56 in the 25-run win over Rajasthan Royals at Ahmedabad.

The return of Harbhajan Singh would be keenly awaited by Mumbai who have depending on the young shoulders of leggie Shreyas Gopal into the playing eleven in the last few games. But Mumbai would miss their top wicket taker Lasith Malinga who is on international duty with Sri Lanka.

Delhi, on the other hand, have been pathetic to say the least. Their batting, that includes skipper Kevin Pietersen, has failed to click while the bowling has been wayward. Daredevils batting is too dependent on South African J P Duminy while the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Ross Taylor and Quinton de Kock have really not done what was expected of them. The bowling department that consists of Mohammad Shami, too, has been disappointing with the ball while their only wicket taker is young spinner Shabhaz Nadeem.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Corey Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah, Marchant de Lange, Ben Dunk, Chidhambaram Gautam, Shreyas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Hussey, Praveen Kumar, Sushant Marathe, Pragyan Ojha, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare, Apoorv Wankhade.

Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (C), Mayank Agarwal, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, S Kaul, Milind Kumar, Mohammed Shami, S Nadeem, Jimmy Neesham, Wayne Parnell, H Sharath, R Sharma, Laxmiratan Shukla, R Shukla, Ross Taylor, Manoj Tiwary, S Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, M Vijay and J Yadav.

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