Win is the only thing that will be on the minds of both the Gujarat Lions and the Mumbai Indians when the two teams clash in a crucial IPL 2016 match in Kanpur. Saturday's encounter will be the final one for both teams in the league stages, and neither will want to miss the playoffs bus, just because they put up a poor performance in Kanpur.
In order to make sure they are alive and kicking, a win is a must, more so for the Mumbai Indians. While GL have 16 points â€“ this time eight wins do not necessarily guarantee you a playoff spot â€“ MI only have 14, which, could also be enough, provided results go their way. However, in order to put themselves in a better position, the defending champions need a win.
And to pick up that win, they need to play a lot better than they have done in certain parts of the season. MI's season has been laced with outstanding performances and poor ones. While they have looked unbeatable in one match, in another they have suddenly looked like the wooden spooners.
Come Saturday, Rohit will hope it is the good part of the Mumbai Indians that comes out, because to bat the Gujarat Lions, they will need to be at their best.
When the two sides met earlier this season, at the Wankhede Stadium, the Gujarat Lions came up trumps, after MI had one of those forgettable outings. Bating first, the Mumbai Indians could only manage 143/8 in their 20 overs, and while GL made heavy weather of the chase, Aaron Finch was there to see his team through in the final over.
If both teams play up to their potential, another close game could be in the offing. GL will, as always, rely on their top order batting, with Brendon McCullum due a big score, while Dwayne Smith will want to add a few more runs to his kitty as well. Raina looked happy and free on his return from paternity leave and could play one of those brilliant innings again, and with Aaron Finch playing in the middle order, that aspect of GL's batting does not look as brittle anymore.
MI will need to play out of their skins to pick up a win, but with GL desperate for victory themselves to assure a place in the top two, expect a closely-fought contest, that could go right down to the final over again.
Where to Watch Live
GL vs MI is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET) start. Here are the TV and live streaming online options.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Play.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: Supersport. Live Streaming: Supersport Live Video.
International (ROW): Cricketgateway.