IPL 2023: Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Titans Match Preview

Hyderabad: Simply based on the star-studded line-ups of the Qualifier 2 clash of the IPL on Friday, one could easily confuse it for the tournament’s actual final.

The crème de la crème of Indian cricket will be on show – two current Indian team white-ball captains Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma and bonafide superstar Surya Kumar Yadav, lets also not forget the likes of Rashid Khan, David Miller and Jason Behrendorff.

When five-time IPL champions, Mumbai Indians, take the field against defending champions Gujarat Titans, the Reliance Industries–owned side is sure to have the edge – albeit a slight one.

Mumbai are traditional slow starters in the IPL. The best example of this was in 2015 when they went onto win the title after losing five of their first six games.

The modus operandi, so to speak, has been familiar. Mumbai seem to teeter on the brink of elimination and then out of the blue they get their mojo back (read: playing combination is perfected), the star players hit their straps and Rohit’s astute leadership helps them lift the trophy.

This year, on the face of it, does not look any different. Mumbai Indians had a poor win-loss ratio of 1:1 after the first 10 matches of their campaign this season. So, will they lift the trophy this year too?

Well, they could but they first need to overcome defending champions Gujarat Titans.

Table toppers Gujarat’s success this year has largely depended on Shubman Gill, who has had a season aggregate of 722 runs (till now) at a strike rate of 149.17, and the ever-dependable Rashid Khan.

At the moment though, it looks as if Gujarat is feeling the heat. Case in point: Qualifier 1. Gujarat were routed by the Chennai Super Kings. The kind of batting collapse Gujarat suffered against CSK, indicates something is amiss in the Titans dug out.

On paper, Mumbai and Gujarat are both well balanced sides. However, three factors make Mumbai the favourites: i) Momentum of the last few matches, ii) A more robust batting line-up than Gujarat's, and iii) Experience: the kind that can only come by being the most decorated club in the tournament's history.

In crunch games, you want to be a Mumbai Indians supporter.

PREDICTED XIs (including impact player):

Gujarat Titans:
Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (w), Sai Sudharsan, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Noor Ahmad, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma.

Mumbai Indians:
Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Tim David, Tilak Varma, Nehal Wadhera, Chris Jordan, Akash Madhwal, Hrithik Shokeen, Piyush Chawla, Jason Behrendorff.

Time: 7:30PM IST.

Stadium: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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