Mumbai Indians have their back against the wall, and really need to push forward at any cost when they take on a confident Delhi Daredevils side at the ADA VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. The defending champions really need to work on certain areas before they face the Daredevils.
First and foremost, they need to address their opening-slot issues. Parthiv Patel was out of form and they replaced him with Unmukt Chand. That really did not work as Chand went back to the pavilion for a duck.
When they have the likes of Martin Guptill on the bench, they should ideally use him. He is someone who can tear apart any bowling attack at will. He has played only one match so far, and is too good a player to warm the bench.
Corey Anderson, too, has not got a game in IPL 2016, and that has hurt Mumbai Indians. He gives them an all-round option which skipper Rohit Sharma has failed to realise in the current edition of the IPL.
Either Tim Southee or Mitchell McClenaghan has to make way for the fellow New Zealander. Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard have been in decent touch, and thus they are likely to retain their place in the playing XI against Delhi Daredevils. Nitish Rana is also likely to feature in the squad on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Delhi Daredevils' skipper Zaheer Khan's fitness has been a reason for constant worry for the visitors. The team management will take a call on his match-fitness on Sunday morning. JP Duminy will lead the side if Zaheer fails to gain match-fitness.
Delhi Daredevils still have four matches in their hand, including the match against Mumbai Indians, and it is high time they settle with a particular combination. They have played good all-round cricket and thus have emerged as one of the contenders for a playoff spot in IPL 2016. Too much orientation may just hurt them during the remainder of the tournament.
Their youngsters Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair and Quinton de Kock have all stepped up to the occasions, and therefore they ideally should not tinker with the winning combination.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Martin Guptill, Ambati Rayudu, Nitish Rana, Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler (wk), Krunal Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Mitchell McClenaghan.
Delhi Daredevils: Quinton de Kock, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson (wk), Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, JP Duminy, Zaheer Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami.