Gujarat Lions cantered to victory in their third match of IPL 2017 against the Rising Pune Supergiant, but they have a tough match against the two-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
The Lions might have collected their first points in the last match, but it was the manner in which they beat RPS that will give them the confidence against Mumbai Indians. They beat RPS in style with their batsmen turning up for the game. Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, are in superb form, winning their last three matches and are looking to win their fourth straight match.
The Lions, who made their IPL debut last season, have a good record against Mumbai, beating the Rohit Sharma-led side on both occasions last season. In order to maintain that winning streak, they need to play with their best possible XI.
They did make some changes in their squad last time around, and it remains to be seen if GL will stick to their winning XI. Andrew Tye, the hero of the last match, will surely play an important role with the ball but Dhawal Kulkarni could get another chance, and replace Basil Thampi.
One thing is for sure, the Gujarat Lions will not tinker with their batting line-up, which flourished against RPS. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum should once again open the innings followed by Suresh Raina and Aaron Finch as core players.
The same can be said for Mumbai Indians, who are not going to break their winning combination, at least in the batting department. However, Rohit Sharma, who has been a big failure in IPL 2017, will be eager to get back to form. The Pandya brothers along with Nitish Rana have been performing brilliantly.
In the bowling department, Mumbai Indians may be forced into making one change. Lasith Malinga missed MI's last match due to illness, but with the Sri Lankan pacer set to feature in the game, Mitchell McClenaghan or Tim Southee could face the axe. Looking at how the left-arm pacer has been chosen in all the four games, McClenaghan should get the nod.
Expected playing XI
Mumbai Indians: Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma, Nitish Rana, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Gujarat Lions Jason Roy, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi, Andrew Tye, Munaf Patel