The Gujarat Lions might have picked up two stellar wins in their first two matches in IPL 2016, but they will need to work out a way to make it a hat-trick of wins without their key all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja will miss the IPL 2016 match against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium because he is getting married on Sunday.
Jadeja has been a key cog in the Gujarat Lions' impressive form so far, picking up crucial wickets in the middle overs of both games. The problem for the Lions lies in the fact that there is no obvious replacement for the all-rounder, so the decision Suresh Raina and Brad Hodge will have to make will be if the best option is to bring in a pure bowler or increase the strength of the batting lineup by opting for someone like Ishan Kishan.
As good as the Gujarat Lions top order is, their middle order is a little suspect with all the all-rounders in the lineup, and Jadeja's exclusion will be felt in this game against the Mumbai Indians.
MI are also coming off an impressive win in their last game, courtesy a comprehensive run chase against KKR at the Eden Gardens. Having lost their first match at home, to the Rising Pune Supergiants, however, Rohit Sharma and his blue-clad men will want to get that Wankhede form rolling along nicely with a victory.
Lendl Simmons has been ruled out of the IPL with an injury, but the Mumbai Indians have brought in a really good replacement in Martin Guptill. The New Zealand opening batsman was one of the surprise snubs at the IPL Player Auction earlier this year, but now that he has been brought in, it is likely that he will get a game right from the off, unless Rohit decides not to tinker with a winning combination.
If Guptill were a part of the playing XI, it would mean probably dropping Parthiv Patel, which would in turn force the Mumbai Indians to bench Tim Southee, in order to make place for his compatriot. R Vinay Kumar, who was dropped for the match against KKR, could find a place back in or maybe someone like a Nathu Singh might get a go. The other option could be the Mumbai Indians choosing to go with an extra batsman, which in turn might open up a place for Parthiv again or Unmukt Chand.
Expected playing XI: Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Martin Guptill, Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, J Suchith, Mitchell McClenaghan, Vinay Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.
Gujarat Lions: Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Kishan, Dwayne Bravo, Akshdeep Nath, James Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, Shadab Jakati, Pravin Tambe.