IPL 2018, MI vs SRH preview: Struggling Mumbai to take on Sunrisers in a battle to re-discover winning touch

IPL 2018, MI vs SRH preview: Struggling Mumbai to take on Sunrisers in a battle to re-discover winning touch

Mumbai: Under pressure after slumping to their fourth loss in five games, defending champions Mumbai Indians have the onerous task of re-discovering their winning touch when they lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL match here tomorrow.

MI had started their campaign with three losses on the trot before a victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore arrested the streak, but the three-wicket defeat yesterday in Jaipur to Rajasthan Royals, their fourth last-over setback, has put them under tremendous pressure. With nine games left before the play-off stage, MI find themselves in a difficult situation to win at least seven of them to improve their chances. As such, a win over SRH tomorrow is imperative to keep them in the hunt. Sunrisers too have slipped from their earlier top perch after suffering back-to-back defeats, following three straight wins, and would be as keen to bounce back to winning ways.

MI’s campaign has been led from the front by local product Suryakumar Yadav who has been the top batsman with a consistent run of good scores in the opening slot which has left him four short of reaching the 200 mark for the season. However, lack of runs from Rohit Sharma barring one match-winning knock of 94 against Royal Challengers Bangalore has hurt badly the three-time champions’ run and they need their inspirational captain to make it up with a big knock against SRH.

Another major disappointment has been the big West Indian Kieron Pollard who has mustered just 54 runs in five games. He is in danger of being left out at the bench.The Trinidadian’s compatriot Evin Lewis has been neither outstanding nor a total let-down with the bat, but the Pandya brothers — Hardik and Krunal — have not sparkled with the bat.

Pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah showed he is close to his best in yesterday’s game against RR although he could not get MI across the finish line with a final burst of wickets, while Mustafizur Rahman has been a good foil. Mitchell McClenaghan has got among the wickets but has leaked runs too while the Pandya siblings have done a decent job with the ball. MI have not made too many changes to their playing eleven and could mull over it seriously before it is too late.

Sunrisers’ campaign had begun in pretty impressive fashion with three wins on the trot but successive defeats to Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings have dented their progress and confined them to the lower half of the table.

While captain Kane Williamson has been in superb form, carrying the batting on his shoulders to amass 230 runs in five games, the other batsmen, including Shikhar Dhawan, have not given him adequate support. Wridhiman Saha has been particularly below par with the bat with a tally of a measly 62 runs and needs to buck up quickly or lose the spot to Shreevats Goswami.

Yusuf Pathan showed glimpses of his old attacking self against RR with a quick 27-ball 45, but overall his batting has been below par. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the stand-out performer in bowling and the visitors would be hoping for the others to chip in too.

The Teams (from):

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma(captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dhananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hale.

Match starts at 8 pm.

IPL 2018, Match 22: FPJ’s Dream XI for Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab

IPL 2018, Match 22: FPJ’s Dream XI for Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab

Delhi Daredevils (DD) are back in their derby. DD, who are the bottom of the points table will take on Kings XI from Punjab (KXIP), who are among the top two. There is no question that the DD have been the least impressive among all teams in past few seasons. It is their first home match and they will look to take that advantage against Chris Gayle-inspired Punjab side. While KXIP have won four and lost one of their five games, DD have won one and lost four. Despite having a two-time IPL champion skipper, DD are having an awful time. Multiple changes have been made, fresh faces brought in, but no results. While promising Rishabh Pant leads the batting side, it is their bowling unit that is disappointing. Here is DD’s probable dream XI against Punjab.

Delhi Daredevils: Jason Roy, Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Amit Mishra, Chris Morris, Mohammed Shami, Trent Boult, Rahul Tewatia, Jayant Yadav

Talking about Punjab side, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin-led side have been one of the most impressive side this tournament. While Ashwin’s captaincy is impressing one and all, their top order (Gayle and KL Rahul) is in such a good form that anyone hardly looks at the middle order. But the only worry for the side is Axar Patel and Yuvraj Singh’s form. Here is Kings XI’s probable dream XI for today.

Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel, Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma

IPL 2018: Who is Krishnappa Gowtham? Rajasthan Royals’ surprise hero against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2018: Who is Krishnappa Gowtham? Rajasthan Royals’ surprise hero against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2018 is reaching its halfway stage and on Sunday Rajasthan Royals’ Krishnappa Gowthan stole the headlines and scored an unbeaten 33 off 11 balls and clinched the match for RR from nowhere. So, who is Gowtham and how come he was paid Rs 6.2 crore without even playing for India?

Krishnappa Gowtham hails from Karnataka and is 29 years old. Like many cricketers from the region, Gowtham wanted to play for India, but the competition in India as well as in the Karnataka side kept him waiting. Gowtham finally made his first-class debut in 2012 against Uttar Pradesh and was waiting for that performance that could launch his career. Gowtham, in the meanwhile, forged a solid reputation as a big hitter and a canny off-spinner and was becoming some sort of a T20 specialist.

Krishnappa Gowtham’s big break came when in 2016 when he broke back into Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy side and took 18 wickets in his first three matches. His consistency earned him a place with the India A team in 2017 and his career was finally taking off. Gowtham was selected by Mumbai Indians in IPL 2017 for Rs 2 crore, but couldn’t play any matches due to stiff competition (read: Harbhajan Singh, Krunal Pandya, Karn Sharma) and was warming the benches.

IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals overcome Mumbai Indians by 3 wickets, jump to 5th spot
Amid these moments was a bit of controversy as well when Gowtham took leave from the Duleep Trophy in 2017, citing illness, and was found a few days a later playing in the Karnataka Premier League (local T20 league). The BCCI pulled him out of the squad to play New Zealand A for actions that were a “gross insult to the system”. But, after this indiscretion Gowtham has tried to change his image and his work ethic and results are there for everyone to see.

Life and cricket are all about second chances and Gowtham’s big pay day arrived in 2018 when during mega-auction, Gowtham fetched a whopping bid of Rs 6.2 crore from Rajasthan Royals. Royals rated him pretty high and, unlike last year, Gowtham got to play on a consistent basis and despite being average and mediocre, the Karnataka lad’s big moment arrived against Mumbai Indians (ironic, isn’t it?). That one innings has changed the perception and now Gowtham is the talk of the town, Royals’ messiah and big gun player going forward.