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IPL 2018 has got off to a very exciting start and most of the matches have gone down to the wire. The two teams in this contest have both lost both their opening matches and that's why this is a very big game for both of them. While the Delhi Daredevils have become familiar faces at the bottom of the table over the last few seasons, the Mumbai Indians are not accustomed to being in this position. The fact that Mumbai lost both its matches off the last few balls of the match makes it all the more difficult to swallow.
There are still plenty of matches for both teams to get back into the mix of things but the time to make an improvement is now.
The Mumbai Indians are notorious for being slow starters in the IPL and that is exactly what they have done this year as well. To be fair to them, though, their first match loss to CSK was a freak occurrence and they came within a sliver of winning their second match against SRH as well.
There are some obvious gaps in the Mumbai Indians team right now. Rohit Sharma and Evin Lewis at the top of the order need to start scoring some runs soon because the middle order is a touch inexperienced.
The loss of Hardik Pandya to injury has hit them hard. He only has a niggle but could miss out this match against Delhi as well.
There seems to be a concerted effort by Mumbai to go hard at all stages of the innings. This is a risky strategy that could backfire on them. In the last match against SRH as well, Mumbai Indians got off to a quick start but lost too many wickets and eventually fell short of a competitive total.
Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, and Kieron Pollard make for a very combustible lineup. We would love to see JP Duminy slot into this lineup considering the form he has been in but that would mean dropping one of Ben Cutting or Kieron Pollard.
The bowling for Mumbai was much better in their second match. The standouts were Mustafizur Rahman and Mayank Markande who took 7 wickets between them. Jasprit Bumrah also put in a much-improved performance in the last match and that bodes well for the Mumbai Indians going forward.
Ben Cutting did not have a good match and it was curious to Krunal Pandya being used sparingly even though he kept a tight leash on things. Pradeep Sangwan as the new ball bowler in the powerplay is also a little risky considering the Delhi Daredevils is a very strong batting outfit as well.
Mumbai needs to get its tactics right and just tweak things a little. They have been playing good cricket but losing matches. These tight losses could come back to haunt them when they eventually do go through a rough phase.
Rohit Sharma, Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan, SA Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mayank Markande, JJ Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman, Akila Dananjaya.
The Delhi Daredevils came into IPL 2018 with great expectations but things have not panned out for them so far. They lost their opening game convincingly and then failed to chase down a stiff target in rain-affected conditions.
They must shake off the bad luck though and start to make the best use of their resources.
Mumbai, with its flat batting track, should help their batsmen get into a good rhythm. Gautam Gambhir, Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Colin Munro, Rishab Pant, and Chris Morris are a fearsome batting lineup.
We are not sure of where Vijay Shankar fits in this team but he could get another couple of matches before being benched.
We are looking forward to seeing Munro and Maxwell get some time in the middle because both of them have the potential to win matches with ease. Munro is currently the highest ranked batsman in T20 cricket and Maxwell has been in terrific form as well.
Ideally, Delhi will have Gambhir play the anchor role and allow his big hitters to have the freedom they need to shine.
The problem for Delhi, though, has been their bowling. They put in a better performance in the second match against the Rajasthan Royals but will be really tested against a strong batting lineup in home conditions.
Trent Boult, Mohammad Shami, and Chris Morris will need to be at the top of their game to get the most out of the Mumbai wicket. Picking up early wickets is going to be key against Mumbai. The contest between Boult and Sharma is going to especially mouth watering as both have had some success against each other in the past.
We don’t see the Delhi Daredevils making any changes to their team for this match. Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Tewatia did a decent job as the spinning options and are likely to be persisted with.
We continue to think that the Delhi Daredevils have a very solid bunch of players and a very good captain leading them. Their luck is bound to turn around sooner or later.
JJ Roy, G Gambhir, Shreyas Iyer, RR Pant, Glenn Maxwell, V Shankar, DT Christian, R Tewatia, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami, TA Boult.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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The best batting conditions of the IPL are going to be on display for this match. The Wankhede has provided an excellent surface for IPL matches year after year. There is some good amount of pace, bounce, and zip off the surface. The wrist spinners also get some purchase of the deck. The batsmen, though, can really make merry once they get set.
We think another match where scores of around 170-180 are considered par is in the offing.
The weather is expected to be clear and uneventful.
Mumbai has won four out of the last five matches against the Delhi Daredevils. They will go into this match as the firm favorites. We do think, however, that there is a real betting opportunity in backing the Delhi Daredevils for this match. They are a solid team that has yet to play at their best while the Mumbai team is probably at their vulnerable most at the moment.
The conditions seem ripe for an upset.
Back the Delhi Daredevils to win.