High-flying Mumbai face confident Gujarat in IPL

Indo Asian News Service

Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) Mumbai Indians will look to register their fourth consecutive win, while Gujarat Lions will look to boost their campaign with a second win when they face each other in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest here on Sunday.

Mumbai are on a roll, getting the better of Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore since their loss in the opening match to Rising Pune Supergiant.

Their batsmen have been contributing, barring captain Rohit Sharma, who has only nine runs in four matches. Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Kieran Pandya have been consistent, along with all-rounders Kieran Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.

But Rohit's form has been a worry. The right-hander has not played in the last six months prior to the IPL due to a couple of injuries and coming straight into the T20 cricket tournament is not easy.

In their last match, they plunged to 7/4 chasing 143 against RCB, who were boosted by leg-spinner Samuel Badree's hat-trick. But MI have a long batting line-up and it was proved as Pollard and Krunal bailed them out from a hopeless situation.

In the bowling department, there are doubts over their pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, who skipped the RCB match in Bengaluru. His return to fitness will add more teeth to the bowling line-up that boasts the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Hardik, Harbhajan Singh and Pollard.

It should be an interesting contest when these bowlers will be up against Gujarat's destructive batsmen Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch and Dinesh Karthik.

Gujarat will be confident after registering their first win on Friday against Pune in Rajkot. It was the first instance when all the three departments delivered in four matches. Their bowling line-up has always got the stick. But on Friday, Australian paceman Andre Tye snared a hat-trick in his debut to bring them some sort of solace. Tye gave away only 17 runs and picked up five wickets in four overs and he will be skipper Raina's go-to man.

With all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja back in the team, Gujarat now look a better team in terms of balance and will look to give Mumbai a run for their money in their climb up the ladder.

--IANS

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