In this game of glorious uncertainties, one of the few certainties of the season has been the underwhelming show by Mumbai Indians.
The win against Rajasthan Royals at Navi Mumbai ended what had seemed a never-ending run of losses but may have come too late. It would have helped Rohit Sharma’s men regain some of their self-belief. They will need plenty of that when they take on Gujarat Titans at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday in the clash between the IPL’s table-topper and the basement-dweller.
Titans, a side that has thus far lived up to its name, is closer to the playoffs than anybody else, having lost just two of its 10 games.
Leading from the front
Ironically, it is a former MI star that played the key role in its superb campaign. Hardik Pandya, who had been with the five-time champion since 2015 before being released ahead of the mega auction, has led from the front.
He is the team’s leading run-scorer with 309 runs. Shubman Gill and David Miller, too, are in good nick. If the top-order doesn’t click, there is Rahul Tewatia to whack those sixes.
GT has also been served well by its strong bowling attack featuring Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan.
As for MI, it will be hoping that Rohit is among runs again. His return to form would ease the pressure on Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma. The team also needs the bowlers to continue from where they left off at Navi Mumbai.