An unbeaten 91 off 53 balls is what Jason Roy scored to take his team over the line against Mumbai Indians at the start of IPL 2018. It was a lovely show of individual brilliance that day, but a lot has changed for both teams since then. It was a part of Mumbai’s horrible start this season while Delhi Daredevils slipped horribly from there too.
Now, Delhi have been eliminated while Mumbai have made a remarkable comeback, like they have done so many times in the past in the Indian Premier League. Everyone would remember Aditya Tare hitting the six needed off the last ball for Mumbai to script a dream qualification in IPL 2014. Today’s equation is more simple. Just win. Win today and they will qualify, while Punjab and Rajasthan will be knocked out of the tournament.
Delhi had a change in their captain and basically their whole team during this season. The three mainstays have been Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw, while the foreign players haven’t contributed at all. They gave 2 games to 17-year old Nepali bowler Sandeep Lamichhane, and ever since his entry, we’ve seen Amit Mishra find his groove as well, seemingly bowling better when bowling in tandem.
When you look at Mumbai in the last couple of weeks in IPL 2018, you would say they are a much better team and they walk into this game as high favourites. Also having won the title three times in the past, they know how to deal with crunch games. Kieron Pollard had a horrid season until his aggressive 50 in the last game. Him, Cutting and the Pandya brothers are there to finish off if the explosive top order fails. The only worrisome factor is the form of their captain, Rohit Sharma.
Both teams have good batting line ups with batsmen capable of going berserk in both sides, so a lot is going to boil down to the better bowling attack on the day. Trent Boult has been one of the leading wicket takers in the Indian Premier League while the two spinners are there to add pressure on Mumbai in the middle overs. How will Mumbai combat this? I haven’t seen a real x-factor in their bowling this year, but Jasprit Bumrah has been fantastic when it comes to defending.
For Mumbai, the equation is simple. Win and qualify or lose and go home. For Delhi, it’s even simpler – win and be party poopers, and leave the tournament on a high of two consecutive wins. I’m backing Mumbai to win the toss, bat first and win the game. Check out the story line from the last game these two played: