Boss batters vs Boss bowlers as Mumbai take on Titans in Qualifier 2

Boss batters vs Boss bowlers as Mumbai take on Titans in Qualifier 2

Big Picture: Defending Champions vs. Series Winners

Probably for the first time in the franchise’s young history, the Gujarat Titans will feel the pressure in a knockout game. Freshly rocked by a loss in Qualifier 1, this is the first time they have played an IPL game to stay alive. The best team of the league stage didn’t really play like that against Chennai Super Kings to the point that it suddenly seems like they aren’t entirely sure of their best XI. Getting that wrong in the playoff stages usually proves costly.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians are peaking at the right time. They produced one of their fullest performances in the Eliminator to go with four wins from their last five group stage games. From a batting standpoint, they have all unlocked the most dangerous version of themselves, and among the bowlers, Piyush Chawla and Jason Behrendorff are doing enough for Akash Madhwal to shine on death.
Mumbai beat the Titans the last time the two sides met in IPL 2023, and based solely on recent results and recent vibes, Mumbai seems to have the upper hand. Their bowling unit has been red hot of late, but that was not the case early in the tournament. The Titans, on the other hand, have proven players on the ball, including the season’s two best wicket-takers. How Madhwal and co can match Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan may well decide the outcome of this game.
However, the Titans’ batting, at least at the present time, lacks the clarity that their bowling has. They need to find out if Dasun Shanaka is offering enough. And also do more to ensure that Vijay Shankar hits when he can have the biggest impact. Above all, they have to find a way for Hardik Pandya, the batsman, to make the best use of his skills. If that clarity is there, the Titans will feel that the loss in the Qualifier was just a blip on their journey to defending their IPL title. It won’t be easy against a team that only knows how to win decisive games.

Gujarati Titans: LWWLW (last five completed games, most recent first)
Bombay Indians: WWLWW

Team News: Concern for Titans closers?

Titans played Darshan Nalkande against Super Kings for Yash Dayal, but Nalkande was limping after his bowling spell. If Nalkande is out of shape, Dayal could return. The Titans could also bring in Josh Little as a replacement, but that would cause Shanaka to retire. Little is a top contender because of his experience and better bowling numbers compared to the capless Indians, more so in a knockout game.

With Tilak Varma returning to their side against Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai has no injury worries.

Impact Player Strategy: What will Mumbai do?

Mumbai could use an extra batsman, as in the Eliminator with Nehal Wadhera, and sacrifice an extra bowling option to give their first innings total a boost if they bat first. Otherwise the default route is Suryakumar Yadav which is used as a substitute for Impact for an Indian bowler.

Bombay Indians (probable XII): 1 Ishan Kishan (week), 2 Rohit Sharma (capt), 3 Cameron Green, 4 Suryakumar Yadav5 Tilak Varma, 6 Tim David, 7 Hrithik Shokeen/Nehal Wadhera8 Chris Jordan, 9 Piyush Chawla, 10 Jason Behrendorff, 11 Akash Madhwal, 12 Kumar Kartikeya

The Titans are likely to go with Vijay as an impact player in a chase or bring in a fast shooter if they are defending.

Gujarati Titans (probable XII): 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Wriddhiman Saha (week), 3 Hardik Pandya (capt), 4 Vijay Shankar5 David Miller, 6 Sai Sudharsan/Abhinav Manohar, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Noor Ahmad, 10 Josh Little/Yash Dayal11 Mohit Sharma, 12 Mohammed Shami.

Stats That Matter: Beware Rohit vs Rashid

It has touched 43 degrees in Ahmedabad. The healers have covered the pitch to make sure it doesn’t break abnormally. The pitch for the game is among the least used strips (the center has nine surfaces) and is being introduced to ostensibly provide a festival of racing.

It has been watered properly to ensure some amount of moisture helps bind it underneath. The commissioner expects good rhythm and rebound like all season. Dew is not expected to be a major factor, helped by the chemical they use to prevent its formation.


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