Till a couple of weeks ago, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils were swimming in the same boat. Neither side was being able to find its feet in the IPL this season. But, while Mumbai have staged a rather significant comeback, winning their last three games in a row, Delhi have failed to rise from the phoenix. Apart from a couple of convincing performances, they have been completely off boil. And so, even as Mumbai would head into the home game at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday following a comprehensive 23-run victory over Kings XI Punjab, Delhi were trampled by Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.
Match: Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians, 39th T20 at Mumbai
Time: Match Start at 8 PM IST | 14:30 GMT
Toss: Delhi Daredevils, who chose to bat first
Mumbai have picked themselves up rather credibly following a disappointing start to the series. There were big positives for Mumbai in the win against Punjab. Parthiv Patel, who hadn’t done a lot in the earlier games, returned to form with a blazing half-century. The left- hander’s assault on Mitchell Johnson was particularity impressive. His opening partner Lendl Simmons also starred with a match-winning 71. Unlike Patel, Simmons has maintained better consistency, and his presence has definitely been a plus for Mumbai. Their middle order batting wasn’t as impressive, but Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu remain dangerous.
Mumbai’s bowling also lived up to its promise against Punjab. Lasith Malinga again stood out with his yorkers and variations while Harbhajan Singh continued to be economical. Overall, it was a competent bowling effort by Mumbai. Mitchell McClenaghan and R Vinay Kumar maintained a tight leash on the batsmen. The fifth bowler remains a concern for the team. J Suchith conceded over eight runs an over again, and even Pollard only sent down one over. This is one area where the opponents could trouble Mumbai.
Delhi, on the other hand, seem to have nothing going for them. They were overcome by Rajasthan Royals without much trouble. Delhi’s bowling in the match was particularly poor as Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair toyed with them. Delhi will need Zaheer Khan to be in top form against Mumbai. Amit Mishra was taken to the cleaners rather easily which is not a good sign for the team. Gurinder Sandhu also had a forgettable debut, Nathan Coulter-Nile, their best bowler in the tournament, also had an off-day.
Delhi’s batsmen had a tough task once their bowlers failed against Rajasthan. They did reasonably well to get to 175, but a number of their key batsmen registered failures. Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews again failed to deliver, which is a matter of major concern for the team. Mayank Agarwal has played a couple of good knocks, but his consistency remains suspect. Shreyas Iyer’s rare failure made matters worse for them, and although JP Duminy came up with a credible half- century, they hadn’t done enough. Delhi will need to show massive improvements if they want to compete against Mumbai.
--By A Cricket Analyst