On a five-match winning streak, Mumbai Indians will be back at their fortress Wandkede, this time welcoming Delhi Daredevils in an IPL 10 encounter.
As Mumbai try to cement their spot at the top of the table, we take a look at their probable XI to face Delhi Daredevils.
OPENERS: PARTHIV PATEL(Wk) AND JOS BUTLER
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 20, 2017
Even though majority of the cricketing pundits felt Rohit should open the batting for Mumbai, Butler showed in the last match as to why the two-time champions backed the English batsman at the top. With the required rate almost ten, Butler's 37-ball 77 blitzkrieg set the tone for the Mumbai innings against Kings XI Punjab. While Parthiv too was playing some glamorous shots, Butler's ones stood out. He might not have the elegance like Rohit, but Butler ensures his brute power is enough to decimate any opposition attack.
MIDDLE ORDER: NITISH RANA, ROHIT SHARMA(C), KIERON POLLARD
Perhaps, the find of this season among Indian players, Delhi-lad Nitish Rana is making every opportunity count he is getting currently. The youngster has already scored three fifties in the tournament, which have proved pivotal in Mumbai's winning streak. His splendid show with the willow(255 runs in 6 matches) has also shielded Mumbai from getting affected by Rohit's fluctuating form. The skipper regained a bit of his mojo against Gujarat, but needs to improve a lot in the coming matches. Erstwhile Pollard remains the crisis man, who has bailed Mumbai out of trouble on numerous occasions.
ALL ROUNDERS: KRUNAL PANDYA AND HARDIK PANDYA
The Pandya brothers not only adds firepower in Mumbai's batting artillery, but also provides them with diversity in bowling in the form of pace and spin. In the last game against Kings XI, where the pacers were being carted all across the park, Krunal bowled four overs, scalping one wicket conceding just 29 runs. Hardik has already played some quickfire cameos in this edition, one of which came against RPS in Mumbai's first game of the season. Against a strong DD bowling outfit, both their batting prowess might be needed for MI.
SPINNER: HARBHAJAN SINGH
The former Indian spinner appears to have a changed role for MI this year. Bowling in the powerplays, Harbhajan is always on the look-out for wickets, but batsmen seem reluctant to take risks against him this time. As a result of which, Bhajji is scalping less wickets than earlier seasons, but his economy has helped Mumbai to pile up pressure at the other end. Rohit's decision to bowl him only two overs (0/12) against Punjab was baffling, especially when Maxwell and Amla were going hammer and tongs. It remains to be seen if DD batsmen fancy taking their chances against the experienced bowler.
PACERS: MITCHELL McCLENAGHAN, MITCHELL JOHNSON AND JASPRIT BUMRAH
With Mumbai on a 5-match winning run and Malinga conceding over 50 runs in the last two games, it is time for coach Mahela Jayawardene to give his country mate a break. Malinga used to be a dreaded bowler in T20s, but of late he has lost his sting. If Malinga is benched, Tim Southee will be the frontrunner to take his place, but speedster Mitchell Johnson would be a good option too. The Aussie looked in fine form in the BBL, and is raring to have a go in IPL 10. Erstwhile, McClenaghan and Bumrah is expected to retain their spots though the Kiwi was quite expensive against Punjab.