Another slow start to yet another IPL campaign sees the Delhi Daredevils sitting on the bottom of the table, they haven’t finished above sixth place in the IPL for the past five years now. They’re up against a team who are also battling against the grain, that being the Mumbai Indians who have lost their first two matches as well despite their lofty-expectations as the reigning champs of the comp.
The loss of Hardik Pandya who had reportedly twisted his ankle while batting against the Chennai Super Kings left a huge void to fill against a pumped-up Sunrisers Hyderabad outfit. Pandya actually went on to take three wickets against the Super Kings that match despite playing with a dodgy-ankle, so his omission was a shock to many. The good news is Pandya is expected to be fit for Mumbai’s next match against Delhi, and it’s fair to say a win is much-needed if they’re any chance of competing for a top three finish like last year. They’re up against arguably the most disappointing team over the past five seasons of the IPL, if they somehow manage to slump against the Daredevils they’re in enormous trouble. It’s only early days in the tournament, but already some cracks are beginning to show with skipper Rohit Sharma struggling to make an impact with the bat and one of their most impressive bowlers from the previous season Mitchell McClenaghan being dropped after just one game. Bangladeshi-quick Mustafizur Rahman made the most of his second opportunity in the team as he struck twice late in the innings to keep his team in the match, it wasn’t to be but he still ended with figures of 3/24. 20-year-old leg-spinner Mayank Markande is proving to be a phenomenal addition to the Mumbai Indians side in 2018, he’s produced two stunning-displays with the ball so far (3/23 & 4/23) and might just be their secret X factor as the IPL season continues to roll on. Let’s not forget about Jasprit Bumrah either, one of India’s best limited-overs bowlers going around and brings something to the table in almost every match. Their batting isn’t a concern, we’ve seen what Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya are capable of, some of India’s most exciting prospects in the IPL for mine. This is a danger game for Mumbai, but at the same time it’s a chance for them to prove their worth in the competition.
A rain-affected contest between Delhi and Rajasthan really did dampen the mood, but at the end of the day the Royals won and pocketed the two points in a frustrating night for cricket lovers. Had the game not been interrupted, it could have been a different story, but as it stands the Daredevils are once again the slow starters in yet another IPL tournament. Delhi didn’t really look threatening with the ball at any stage in the innings, they might have been a bit trigger-friendly after dropping key-spinner Amit Mishra after one poor outing, although it appeared they were trying to set a certain standard performance-wise. Shahbaz Nadeem, the man who replaced Mishra was Delhi’s best bowler in that match taking 2/34 in an otherwise-dull performance from the Daredevils in the field. On a lighter note, it was great to see Glenn Maxwell back in India for another stint in IPL, although the rain made his somewhat of a short and sharp one as he looked to blast away from ball one given the 71-run target in just six overs. It’s probably unlikely that Maxwell will open the innings again in Mumbai, but he’s certainly not the worst option when it comes to scoring quickly in the opening overs. Just imagine, Glenn Maxwell and Colin Munro opening the innings, two batsmen who aren’t afraid to take the bowlers downtown, as a bowler you’d be hoping to pick one of them up early otherwise you’re in for a world of pain! Like the Mumbai Indians, the Daredevils have a good-young group of batsmen who can accelerate an innings in a matter of overs which does add to the Munro-Maxwell factor, they’ve just got to find that level of consistency where everyone’s playing their part in the order. Overseas bowlers Trent Boult and Chris Morris haven’t set the world on fire so far, but they should come good at some stage which is hopefully sooner rather than later in Delhi’s case.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Mumbai Indians | 9th match | Mumbai
- Evin Lewis
- Mayank Markande
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Hardik Pandya
- Jasprit Bumrah
Wildcard pick – Krunal Pandya
Top 5 fantasy picks | Delhi Daredevils | 9th match | Mumbai
- Glenn Maxwell
- Gautam Gambhir
- Trent Boult
- Colin Munro
- Rishabh Pant
Wildcard pick – Shreyas Iyer
Returning to the dominant opening position in 2018, Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma might want to slide down the order after a couple of low scores to start his IPL 11 campaign. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is expected to make his return after a twisted ankle kept him sidelined for the following match, Pradeep Sangwan is expected to be the man to make way for Pandya in the XI. Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting was no better than the man he replaced from Mumbai’s previous match, so that could see Mitchell McClenaghan come straight back into the side after Cutting was smacked all over the park against Hyderabad. The rest of the team looks fairly-complacent for the time being. If Hardik is not fit to play, Cutting will keep his spot purely for batting depth.
Despite losing in their previous game, Delhi isn’t expected to make a great deal of changes given they only batted for a total of six overs. After Shahbaz Nadeem’s successful selection against the Royals, spinner Amit Mishra will find it difficult to break back into the XI after he was dropped early. Mishra could potentially replace Rahul Tewatia, although he hasn’t been leaking runs which could see him retain that position as the second spinner. Black Caps opener Colin Munro needs a significant innings to keep him in the side after scores of 4 & 0 so far in the tournament, Jason Roy is a potential candidate to take his spot if Munro fails a couple more times.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Rohit Sharma © 2. Evin Lewis 3. Ishan Kishan (wk) 4. Suryakumar Yadav 5. Hardik Pandya/Saurabh Tiwary 6. Krunal Pandya 7. Kieron Pollard 8. Ben Cutting/Mitchell McClenaghan 9. Mayank Markande 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Mustafizur Rahman.
Delhi Daredevils (possible) – 1. Gautam Gambhir © 2. Colin Munro 3. Glenn Maxwell 4. Shreyas Iyer 5. Rishabh Pant (wk) 6. Vijay Shankar 7. Chris Morris/Dan Christian 8. Rahul Tewatia/Amit Mishra 9. Shahbaz Nadeem 10. Trent Boult 11. Mohammed Shami.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.