The IPL 2023 season of Mumbai Indians is back on track. The five-time champions are off to a decent start with three straight victories in five games. The Rohit Sharma team’s scenario seems promising after two victories up front. Fine. Exactly why not?
Ishan Kishan has gotten back to full strength; Suryakumar Yadav has regained his imperious touch; Cameron Green and Tim David are performing their duties flawlessly; Riley Meredith and Jason Behrendorff are bowling well together; veteran Piyush Chawla is at their cunning best, unleashing all of his experience to fox the batters; and even rookie Arjun Tendulkar has started to be both penetrative and restrictive.
Few people realize that Rohit has only one half-century overall in 12 innings across all forms because the scenario is so good. However, there aren’t many reasons to criticize the skipper’s performance. The rest of the squad can take advantage of his lightning-quick beginnings with the bat. The Mumbai Indians appear to have regained their mojo all of a sudden.
“The team is interacting quite well together. The top six batters have all made a difference. So for us, that’s a pretty exciting development. Guys are enjoying some time playing games. The most important thing for us is to continuously strive to improve just a little bit with each game. We have already won a couple of games, so we’ll just want to keep up the momentum, said Behrendorff, who has stepped up to lead the bowling in Jofra Archer’s absence.
The Archer case has become a bit of a mystery. He was first benched as a precaution in a match but has not played four games in a row since. The Barbados-born English bowler was absent from practice on Friday, the eve of Mumbai Indians’ sixth match against Punjab Kings. “It is an optional practice day,” a team official explained. It’s unclear whether he’ll be available for Saturday’s encounter at the Wankhede Stadium.
“He’s been working hard in the gym. The medical staff is working nonstop. We are waiting for the medical staff to check all of the boxes. “Hopefully, he’s not far from being fully fit,” Behrendorff remarked on Friday. Although Archer’s involvement has grown doubtful, he is not being missed by the team. The rest of the bowlers, including Tendulkar Jr, appear to be doing an amazing job.
Punjab Kings, on the other hand, have fallen behind following a promising start. They won the first two games but only one more in the next four, putting them in danger of becoming the IPL’s chronic underachievers.
Harbhajan Singh is correct when he says that the squad needs Shikhar Dhawan at the top. “The Punjab side appears to be overly reliant on their captain Shikhar Dhawan in the batting department, which is concerning.” You can win two or three matches relying on one player, but you cannot win a tournament like the IPL. The rest of the Punjab players will have to back up their captain and take responsibility if they want to advance,” the former India spinner recently observed of the Mohali squad.
The Punjab Kings have a good hitter in Matthew Short, but they need Liam Livingston to bowl well in the middle overs and hope that Kagiso Rabada is fit to play. The South African was allegedly sick for Thursday’s home game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He has arrived in Mumbai and is expected to be available for Friday’s game, according to a team official. The Punjab team desperately needs him..
MI vs PBKS – Team combinations
Mumbai Indians: The team looks settled and there are unlikely to be any changes unless Jofra Archer gets fit and is ready to return to action. One of Jason Behrendorff and Riley Meredith could make a way in that case.
Tactics and match-ups: Mumbai’s experienced batters pulling their weight will be one of the targets heading into the game. For Rohit, this could be an uphill task against a bowling line-up that is stacked with bowlers that are not his first choice – left-arm pace and the ball turning away. Since 2019, he has been dismissed 21 times for this, and the likes of Arshdeep, Curran, Chahar, and Harpreet Brar could be challenges.
Probables: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Cameron Green, Tilak Varma, Tim David, Arjun Tendulkar, Nehal Wadhera, Hrithik Shokeen, Piyush Chawla, Jason Behrendoff
Punjab Kings: With spinners Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar doing well, one possible change is Kagiso Rabada coming in place of Nathan Ellis. There is an outside chance of Shikhar Dhawan coming in as an impact player, to bat.
Tactics and match-ups: Kagiso Rabada could find his way back into the eleven particularly since his good match-up against the likes of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav. He has dismissed the former twice in 26 balls and the latter thrice in 40 bals.
Probables: Atharva Taide, Prabhsimran Singh, Matthew Short, Liam Livingstone, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis/Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar
MI VS PBKS – Squads
|Mumbai Indians Squad||Punjab Kings Squad|
|Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Tim David, Nehal Wadhera, Arjun Tendulkar, Hrithik Shokeen, Piyush Chawla, Jason Behrendorff, Riley Meredith, Ramandeep Singh, Kumar Kartikeya, Shams Mulani, Vishnu Vinod, Duan Jansen, Sandeep Warrier, Jofra Archer, Akash Madhwal, Arshad Khan, Tristan Stubbs, Dewald Brevis, Raghav Goyal||Atharva Taide, Prabhsimran Singh, Matthew Short, Liam Livingstone, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Sam Curran(c), Jitesh Sharma(w), Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Sikandar Raza, Kagiso Rabada, Rishi Dhawan, Mohit Rathee, Shivam Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Baltej Singh, Vidhwath Kaverappa, Gurnoor Brar|
May 1, 2023, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India.
7:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST).
Star Sports and its affiliates.
MI won 15 matches and PBKS won 12 matches.
MI – Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Kieron Pollard. PBKS – KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, and Mohammed Shami.
Hot and humid with a possibility of thunderstorms later in the evening.
The current standing of MI and PBKS in the IPL 2023 season can’t be predicted as the tournament is yet to begin.
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