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IPL 2017: Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Lions, 5 winning factors

Mumbai Indians are the in-form team but Gujarat Lions have history on their side when they face each other today.

Top 5 / Top 10 16 Apr 2017, 12:49 IST
Mumbai have been able to accrue wins under testing circumstances

When Mumbai Indians meet the Gujarat Lions today at the Wankhede, we can expect an entertaining high-scoring game to unfold. The prospect of two teams with heavy batting firepower playing each other on a run-friendly track promises a batting treat. Mumbai Indians are at the top of the table, close second to Kolkata Knight Riders on net run rate, courtesy of wins in their last three games.

Gujarat Lions, on the other hand, are still languishing at the bottom of the table with a solitary victory from three games. Nevertheless, they showed good signs during their win over the Rising Pune Supergiant the other day.

Here are five factors that could play a decisive in the outcome of this match:

#1 With the bat

Barring a failure in the last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, when Samuel Badree ran through the top order, the Mumbai Indians’ opening combination of Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel has given the team good starts in every game. But it’s their middle order that has won them games this season. In the absence of Ambati Rayudu, young left-hander Nitish Rana has stepped up to the plate.

Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, have all made telling contributions with the bat already and complete a powerful middle order. Between all this, however, is the woeful form of the skipper himself. Rohit Sharma has scores of 3, 2, 4 and 0 to his name in his four innings this season and will need to get back into form

Gujarat Lions have little to worry on the batting front, as it has always been their strength. In Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch, GL has a batting might that is intimidating on paper. In addition to the trio, there’s an in-form Dinesh Karthik and skipper Suresh Raina, who has shown signs of regaining his touch in the previous game. The return of Ravindra gives further depth to their batting.

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