IPL 2018, CSK vs MI: Mumbai Indians’ probable playing XI for their game in Pune
After losing 5 out of their first 6 games, will MI change their playing XI or will they continue their tried and tested players?
Mumbai Indians (MI) have once again started slowly. They’ve lost 5 out of their first six matches and their only win has come against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). They have lost four games in the final over. They play well for the most part of the game but just haven’t been able to get the job done.
In their last game as well, they were in total control after they restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 118 but they failed to chase that down as they were bowled out for 87 and lost their fifth game of the season. Head coach Mahela Jayawardene was quite critical about his team’s performance. As they look to turn things around against arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK), let’s have a look at the possible playing XI for the Mumbai Indians.
Suryakumar Yadav has been a revelation for Mumbai Indians at the top of the order. He’s scored 159 runs in 4 innings (which includes a couple of half-centuries) while opening the batting. He has looked MI’s best batsman so far in this tournament. Suryakumar Yadav will continue to open the batting and will look to give MI a good start.
Evin Lewis form has been somewhat scratchy in this tournament. After a slow start, he strung in some good performances but has failed in the last couple of matches. He has struggled against the swing and it is something that the new ball bowlers have tried to exploit against the West Indian opener.
Ishan Kishan has blown a bit hot and cold in this season. He has got runs in every alternate game. He’s scored 153 runs in 6 innings which includes a couple of ducks. However, he has shown great courage as despite being struck on the face, he came back well and struck a fifty in the next game. But, he will be looking to put the inconsistent form behind him and string in some good performances.
Rohit Sharma’s form has been a big area of concern for the Mumbai Indians. He has had only one innings of substance – the match-winning 94 he hit against RCB (which is the only game MI won so far). There have been calls for the skipper to move to the top of the order in order to maximize his ability. But he feels he is best suited to play in the middle order as it gives MI more stability.
Krunal Pandya has been very good with the ball. He’s picked up 6 wickets at an average of 17.67 and has an economy of 7.07. But it is his form with the bat that is worrying MI. He’s getting set and getting those attractive starts but isn’t kicking on and providing MI with the kind of finish they would like. The senior Pandya will be hoping to build on his starts with the bat.
Kieron Pollard is not having the best of seasons. He looked sluggish almost every time he’s batted. In 5 innings, he scored just 63 runs at a poor strike-rate of 110.53. He’s struggled to get going and has not been able to hit the big shots. However, MI will likely keep faith in him despite his repeated failures as they know it’s just a matter of time before the big West Indian delivers.
Hardik Pandya has had an under-whelming IPL season so far, especially with the bat. He’s scored just 48 runs in 5 innings and what’s worse is his strike-rate which is a poor 97.96. The bowlers have figured out a way to counter Pandya’s ability with the bat but the star Indian all-rounder needs to find a way to score runs. He has definitely improved with the ball. He’s picked up 7 wickets at a strike-rate of 10.86 and an average of 15.00.
Mitchell McClenaghan who was brought in as the replacement for Jason Behrendroff has done the job more often than not. He has this excellent knack of picking up wickets at crucial junctures of the game. The Kiwi pacer has picked up at least one wicket every game in this season and hence he will look to continue the good form.
Mayank Markande has been one of the best bowlers of this season. Along with Rashid Khan, he has been the best spinner of the tournament. He’s picked up 10 wickets in 6 games and is currently second on the list of highest wicket-takers (Purple Cap). The youngster has been given the role of the lead spinner and he has relished the opportunity.
Jasprit Bumrah has had an indifferent season so far. He’s conceded runs but has also picked up wickets. He has leaked runs at the death (which is his forte) in a few games and he will look lead the MI bowling attack from the front.
A lot of people feel Mustafizur Rahman has lost his effectiveness as his pace has dropped and as a result, his variations aren't quite effective. But he’s done decently in this IPL. Barring the game against RCB where he was hit for 55 runs in his 4 overs, Mustafizur has looked good. He’s taken 7 wickets and has given MI some sort of control as well. Hence, MI will likely persist with the left-arm quick from Bangladesh.