IPL 9: It's a do-or-die clash for Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians face must-win tie against Delhi Daredevils to stay in contention for a play-off berth in IPL 9
Visakhapatnam: Defending champions Mumbai with 12 points from as many matches, need to pull off a win in their penultimate league match against Delhi Daredevils, if they are to stay in contention for a play-offs berth at the VDCA Cricket Stadium here today.
Skipper Rohit Sharma during Mumbai Indians’ match against Kings XI Punjab on Friday. PIC/AFP
Third in the league table with six wins from 10 matches, with 12 points, Delhi will have one eye on toppling Hyderabad and Gujarat Lions (both at 14 points each).
Mumbai, who have been over-dependent on skipper Rohit Sharma, will hope for a good start from Parthiv Patel. The opening partnership has been a headache for the side as the opening combo has repeatedly failed to provide a decent start.
In case the opening combo fails again, Ambati Rayudu, Nitish Rana, Keiron Pollard and Jos Buttler will have to shoulder the responsibility of the batting. Mumbai will also look for some improved all-round performance from the Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik.
The New Zealand duo of Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee have led the pace attack well with Jasprit Bumrah while the Ricky Ponting-coached side will depend on an improved show from veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to take on a confident young Delhi side.
Daredevils, on the other hand, will look for a repeat of their brilliant show against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In the batting department, the Rahul Dravid-mentored side will once again bank on a good start from Quinton de Kock and Rishabh Pant, with the likes of Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris adding firepower in the middle-order. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra has been impressive while pacers Zaheer and Mohd Shami have also been amongst the wickets. Spinners Imran Tahir and Shahbaz Nadeem have also been impressive in the limited opportunities they got.