Fresh from a resounding win over Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, who are on a roll with five wins in a row, will look to consolidate their position at the top of the points table when they lock horns with Delhi Daredevils at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday (April 22).
Mumbai’s batsmen were at their belligerent best in the previous match as they swept past Punjab’s total of 198 for 4 courtesy a 37-ball 77 by Jos Buttler and a late flourish by Nitish Rana, who scored 62 not out in 34 balls, to secure an eight-wicket win with 27 balls to spare.
What would please Mumbai and Rohit Sharma, the skipper, the most is the consistency that Rana has shown in the tournament. The current holder of the Orange Cap, Rana has thus far amassed 255 runs in six matches with three half-centuries.
If Mumbai, despite their excellent recent run, have anything to worry about, it’s that they have conceded totals in excess of 175 in their last two games. Even Lasith Malinga was carted for 58 runs in his four overs by Punjab.
Even then, with the results going their way, Mumbai might not tinker with the combination just yet.
Delhi, meanwhile, are coming into the game after back-to-back defeats against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. They have been good in patches, but they require the team to fire in unison.
Shreyas Iyer scored a defiant 50 in 31 balls in the previous encounter against Hyderabad, and having played all his first-class cricket in Mumbai, probably knows the Wankhede better than most. With Sam Billings up and down, Delhi might be tempted to move Iyer higher up the batting order.
It will also be interesting to see whether Angelo Mathews, who went for 41 runs in three overs in the last match without a wicket, manages to retain his place in the side, especially with Carlos Brathwaite also available for selection.
With two wins out of five in the tournament, Zaheer Khan and Co. will be hoping for a change in fortunes even as Mumbai will try to keep their dominant run going.
Head to Head record
Played 18. Mumbai 9, Delhi 9.
Head-to-head record at Wankhede Stadium
Played 5. Mumbai 4, Delhi 1.