With every win and loss important from now on, Gujarat Lions will aim to accelerate as they face a solid Mumbai Indians side at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday.
Gujarat, who have six points from eight matches, started the season slowly but are getting into the momentum after winning last two encounters. Their last win was a seven-wicket thrashing of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Australian medium pacer Andrew Tye has been their star performer for them. With 12 scalps, he is the second highest wicket-taker of this edition so far. Along with him, youngsters Basil Thampi and Nathu Singh are improving, keeping veteran Praveen Kumar on the bench.
A lot will depend on the performances of Ravindra Jadeja and James Faulkner. It would also be interesting to see if Irfan Pathan, who was roped in as a replacement for injured all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, would be included.
It is important for the Suresh Raina-led team to hit some kind of momentum with business end of the tournament just arond the corner and a win today can be crucial for their chances of making it to the playoffs.
On the other hand, Mumbai are second on the points table with 6 wins from 8 ties and are well on course of making it to the playoffs. Mumbai will know that out of the two opponents they have lost to in the eight matches played so far, Gujarat are one of them and the visitors will be keen to get back to winning ways.
Mumbai Indians batsmen have been consistently performing. Nitish Rana (266 runs), Jos Buttler (230), Parthiv Patel (169) have been consistent, along with all-rounders Kieran Pollard (199 runs), Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya. Rohit Sharma has shown signs of returning to form with two crucial knocks.
Mumbai’s bowling line-up boasts the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Hardik, Harbhajan Singh and Pollard. So on paper MI are a better looking side and if they play to the potential they are favourites to win this tie.
Gujarat Lions: Ishan Kishan, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik, James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Nathu Singh, Basil Thampi, Andrew Tye
Mumbai Indians: Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenghan, Jasprit Bumrah