Deadline: April 29, 3:30 PM IST
The second phase of the season has begun. Mumbai has gratefully moved from the sluggish wicket at Chennai to the fresh and green wicket at Delhi. This is also a second phase for Mumbai because they are a different team after five matches. Their form and fortune change dramatically in this period. They managed to win the 2015 title despite losing 5 matches in a row.
On the other hand, Rajasthan won’t have to make many adjustments. They played in similar conditions in Mumbai and the one that best suited their style of cricket. The result, however, was disappointing.
Both teams have won 2 of 5 games, but Mumbai have a far superior net run rate.
Adam Milne is likely to replace the off-spinner Jayant Yadav. Not that Jayant has done anything wrong, but the pitch demands the third pacer.
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult
Although Rohit Sharma falls prey to leg-spinners, playing Shreyas Gopal on this wicket won’t provide much impetus.
Rajasthan: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
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Frail middle-order vs ineffective death bowling
Mumbai’s famed middle-order has performed the worst. Let alone playing attacking shots, they haven’t been able to hold the innings together. In addition, they have been often making wrong decisions. Sending the out-of-form Ishant Kishan at No. 3 on a sticky wicket backfired big time.
Interestingly, Rajasthan’s weakness can solve Mumbai’s concerns. Rajasthan have bowled terrible at the death—something players such as Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard will be looking forward to. Both have had an ordinary season so far.
The pitch at Delhi is a paradise for the batsmen, although there is some swing on offer in the powerplay. The spinners could not get enough zip, but the pitch may open up as the tournament progresses. For now, it has all the ingredients for a high-scoring game. The shorter boundaries further make matters worse for the bowlers.
Given the pitch report, Mumbai have an edge. Rajasthan will have to face the likes of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah in the powerplay. Boult especially has a knack for striking early. Jos Butler has a tough task on his hand.
Mumbai haven’t chased a score yet, and Rajasthan have to make sure they don’t let Mumbai do that if they win the toss. More importantly, dew in the second innings will further dent Rajasthan’s chances, as their bowling anyway has lacked teeth. To put things into perspective, Rajasthan have more chances of winning the game bowling first than they have while bowling second.