Five-time champions Mumbai Indians beat Lucknow Supergiants in the eliminator and now play Qualifier-2 against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad. The Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat lost their first chance to reach the IPL final against Chennai Super Kings in Chepauk. However, they are going to take advantage of the 2nd chance at their home ground.
Both the teams in the league stage Narendra Modi Gujarat beat Mumbai Indians by 55 runs when they met at the stadium. Today’s game will be played with the same enthusiasm. But Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai side have won 6 of the eight games since then. Mumbai Indians beat Titans by 27 runs at the Wankhede Stadium.
Battle of the Batmans: Subman Gill vs Suryakumar
Both can be completely different in the way they play and the positions they come to bat. However, both have been the epitome of their team’s batting approaches this season and key to their respective teams’ progress.
Subman Gill has contributed 27.69 percent of the total runs for Gujarat Titans this season. 722 at a strike rate of 149.17. The best part of his batting is that he doesn’t seem to break a sweat while scoring these runs. There was never an inning in which he shot in anger all season. It’s all about classy cricket shots, hard runs between the wickets and great attitude.
If Gill’s tune is melodious, Suryakumar Yadav has been heavy metal. He has scored 544 runs at a strike rate of 183.78. Coming into the middle order, he has often turned the game upside down. He has scored 19.61 per cent of Mumbai Indians’ runs and the opposition bowlers are clueless in controlling his attack.
A tale of two warring captains
Mumbai – Gujarat captains Rohit and Hardik Pandya have both taken bold decisions on the field. However, when it comes to individual form, both have had a season to forget. They have shown glimpses of what they can do from time to time. But did not show consistent batting.
Rohit, while opening the batting, tried to play an attacking brand of cricket. And tried to lead from the front. He set the template for his players to follow. However, this time did not give him many runs. He has scored 324 runs at an average of 21.60 and a strike rate of 133.33. It will be interesting to see how he tackles Gujarat Titans pacer Mohammed Shami.
Hardik batted at number 3 for most of the match. However, he struggled to make an impact with his batting. He has scored 297 runs off 27 runs at a strike rate of 130.26 and has not bowled at all in the last few games.
However, both players have the ability to win cricket matches on their own on any given day. If anything happens tonight, they could turn the tide in their favor.
Who can hit the most sixes?
Ahmedabad this season 123 sixes have been hit on the ground. This is one of the easiest pitches to hit sixes on. However, the batsmen struggled to cope with the pace in the early overs. But they show action towards the end of the innings.
Both of these teams are loaded with power-hitters. However, Gujarat Titans are lingering at the bottom of the table with the number of sixes they have hit in the match (102). Meanwhile, Mumbai are at the top with 133 sixes.
Battle of the leg spinners
As for the number of right-handers in Gujarat’s top order, Mumbai have fielded left-handed chinaman Kumar Karthikeya in both the matches between the two teams. However, he did not take wickets impressively in either game. However, Karthikeya is expected to feature in today’s clash due to match-ups. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla has been Mumbai’s best bowler this season with 21 wickets at an economy rate of 7.76.
On the other hand, Gujarat have lined up the leg-spinner and left-arm chinaman along with Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed. The duo has taken 39 wickets this season with their trickery and guile to knock the opposition’s middle orders. This could be a crucial battle in the middle overs of the innings. Whoever handles the spinners best will win.