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GT vs MI Match Preview: Buoyant Gujarat Look To Seal Playoff Spot Against Struggling MI
Coming into this game, the form and fortunes of the Mumbai Indians and the Gujarat Titans could not be more different. While the Gujarat Titans have exceeded all expectations by currently leading the points table, the Mumbai Indians meanwhile have tasted defeat 8 times already this season and have just 2 points on the board.
But as Rohit Sharma said, any team can beat any other on a particular day in the Indian Premier League. Add to that, the Mumbai Indians snapped their 8-game losing streak by picking up an impressive victory over the Rajasthan Royals, while the Titans got a timely wake-up call in their last encounter against the Punjab Kings.
With a playoff spot all but confirmed for the Hardik Pandya-led side, they also have the luxury of giving their fringe players a chance and the same could be said about MI, who have already been eliminated from the tournament. Gujarat would have set their sights on a top 2 finish, while their net run rate of +0.158 also took a beating thanks to Liam Livingstone.
When: May 6, Friday at 19:30 IST
Where: Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Gujarat Titans Probable XI
While the finishers have been doing the heavy lifting for the Gujarat Titans, the disappointing performances of the top order have gone under the radar. Shubman Gill, having been retained for ₹8 crores, seemed to have repaid the faith with two match-winning innings of 84 and 96 early in the season. His form, however, has tailed off over the last 7 innings, scoring just 89 runs.
Gill's strike rate issues have resurfaced once again, with the batter scoring at just over 100 in his last 7 innings. With Matthew Wade and Vijay Shankar looking completely out of sorts this season, the replacements Wriddhiman Saha and Sai Sudarshan have done a decent job. Sudarshan was particularly impressive against Punjab in their last game, scoring a gritty 65. Hardik Pandya's promotion to No.4 has worked wonders for Gujarat, with the captain leading from the front with 309 runs so far. But Hardik has scores of 10, 3, and 1 in his last 3 games and Gujarat would want a big score from their skipper. Rahul Tewatia and David Miller have defined the Gujarat franchise's season so far with some Houdini act down the order.
The pace quartet and the lone spinner in Rashid Khan have been terrific for Gujarat. Gujarat will hope that Rashid finds his wicket-taking ability as the Afghanistan spinner has taken just 9 wickets this season, although his economy of 6.92 has been impressive.
With Wade out of the side, Gujarat has gone for the pace of Alzaari Joseph, who has been good in patches. Pradeep Sangwan's return to the IPL after 5 years has been a mixed bag. Although Shami was taken apart by Liam Livingstone in the last game, he has taken among the wickets in all but one game this season.
Probable XI: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Alzarri Joseph, Pradeep Sangwan, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammed Shami.
Although they lost their previous game against Punjab, there is no reason for them to make any changes barring injuries.
Mumbai Indians Probable XI
The opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, which cost over 31 crores, hasn't been delivered for Mumbai. Rohit has had some starts but hasn't made a half-century yet this season, while Ishan Kishan started the IPL brightly with three consecutive half-centuries, but his form has tailed off completely.
Surya Kumar Yadav has been the lone shining light this season for MI and he once again scored a vital 51(39) to seal Mumbai's first win. Tilak Varma has stood out in an unstable batting line-up with some useful knocks in the middle order. Kieron Pollard has largely been underwhelming this season as the teams have restricted the West Indian by bowling short and leg-spin early on.
Tim David, who was brought in for their last game, finished the match well with a quickfire 20(9) and MI would hope for more of the same from the Singaporean. Chinaman bowler Kumar Kartikeya had a brilliant debut match with figures of 2/19, while young Hrithik Shokeen received a hammering at the hands of Jos Buttler.
Daniel Sams has made a good comeback after the 35-run over he conceded to Pat Cummins and Riley Meredith has added some pace and penetration to a bowling line-up that has lacked incision. Mumbai will hope Jasprit Bumrah will be back among the wickets, having taken just 5 this season.
Probable XI: Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Tim David, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Kieron Pollard, Hrithik Shokeen, Daniel Sams, Jasprit Bumrah, Kumar Kartikeya, Riley Meredith.
MI might flirt with the idea of bringing Mayank Markande in place of Hrithik Shokeen, but other than that, there is no scope to make a change. Mahela Jayawardene hinted that Arjun Tendulkar might get a game under the right circumstances, but it is looking unlikely for now.
Gujarat Titans vs Mumbai Indians Match Preview Strategies and Match-ups
Rashid Khan has been used at the death of late to maximize his wicket-taking ability but using him against Rohit Sharma early on in the innings could be an option as the Mumbai skipper generally struggles against leg-spin early on. Kieron Pollard's struggles this season have come against the short ball and Gujarat has the pace to burn with Lockie Ferguson and Alzaari Joseph.
Shubman Gill struggles to put away left-arm spinners and his strike rate against spinners is considerably less than the seamers. So, Kumar Karthikeya can be a good option to contain Gill.
Gujarat Titans vs Mumbai Indians Pitch Report
The Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai has generally been good for batting in this year's IPL, with scores over 200 being scored and chased pretty easily. The previous game between RCB and GT saw Gujarat chasing 170, with the match going down to the last over. Dew will once again play a big part as the captain who wins the toss will most likely choose to bowl first. The team batting first will have to post a big score to be in the game.
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