The weekend is here which means that we have another double header of action in the Indian Premier League and it begins with the ‘home side’ of the competition Mumbai Indians looking to spark some life into their season when they take on the Lucknow Super Giants.
These two teams have made hugely contrasting starts to the season with the Mumbai Indians yet to register a win while the Super Giants have three from their opening five matches. That will ensure a competitive contest at Brabourne Stadium.
I’ve been saying throughout the tournament that a slow start from the Mumbai Indians is nothing new but we are well beyond that now. We aren’t in complete panic mode with them yet but we are teetering on the edge of it because if 16 points are going to be needed to make the playoffs this term them Mumbai need eight wins from their remaining nine matches. We know they can put bunches of wins together but no team wants to be playing under this sort of pressure so early in a campaign.
The problem the Indians have has been their bowlers leaking runs. Admittedly this is a high scoring tournament but try as they might the Mumbai outfit just can’t stop the flow of them against them. The positive is that their batting is beginning to look as solid and as reliable as it did in previous seasons but you sense that isn’t going to matter unless they can sort out their bowling unit. The concern there is there isn’t really many options waiting in the wings.
Lucknow Super Giants
I always think when a new team comes into a competition it is important that they are competitive early on in their maiden season. The Lucknow Super Giants have ticked that box and now they’ll be looking to show they can be more than just competitive. They have three wins from their opening five matches and there is a case to be made that they could and even should have won the two matches they lost as well, so this has been a very acceptable start.
The Super Giants have won matches chasing big scores, chasing smaller totals and posting a target so they have shown they can cover all bases. They have a lot of depth to their batting. In the previous match Marcus Stoinis marched out at eight and he is someone who has opened the batting for other teams he has played for. If there is a concern it is in their fifth bowling option but in loading their team with batting depth something always had to give.
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Dewald Brevis showed all of his blossoming quality in the previous match the Indians played and if he can rocket the scoreboard up at a similar rate here he will at least buy his bowlers some grace. Whether that is enough or not remains to be seen.
Ravi Bishnoi is going to be a key player for the Lucknow Super Giants here. If there is one thing we know about the power players in this Mumbai unit it is that they much prefer to clobber pace than mystery spin. If Bishnoi can keep them quiet half the job will be done.
We are at the same ground that the Friday match was played on here. I took over 42.5 boundaries in that match and amazingly the line for this one is the same despite these two teams being packed with power batting and plenty of depth to their XIs. The first 10 overs of the Friday match only yielded 70 runs yet there were still 47 boundaries in the match and for me there is potential to be even more of them in this one.
I wouldn’t say either bowling unit is pulling up trees at the minute and while Jasprit Bumrah went well in the previous match he isn’t exactly being watertight this season. I highlighted in the Friday preview that this is a massively high scoring ground and when you look down the batting units of these two teams I’m failing to see how this one doesn’t follow suit. When you factor in this is a day game and bowling will be hard work I’m very happy to get on over 42.5 boundaries here.
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