Batting boss vs pitching boss as Mumbai take on Titans in Qualifier 2

Overview: Defending Champion vs. Series Winner

Perhaps for the first time in the franchise’s young history, the Gujarat Titans will feel the pressure in a knockout game. After being broken by a loss in Qualifier 1, this was their first time playing an IPL survival game. The best team in the league stage didn’t really play like that against Chennai Super Kings until suddenly it seemed like they weren’t completely sure of their best XI. Making mistakes in the playoffs usually proves costly.

Indians in Mumbai, on the other hand, reach their peak at the right time. They have produced one of their most comprehensive Eliminator appearances with four wins in their last five group stage matches. From a batting perspective, everyone has unlocked the most dangerous version of themselves, and among the bowlers, Piyush Chawla and Jason Behrendorff have done enough to make Akash Madhwal shine to the death.

Mumbai beat the Titans the last time the two teams met at IPL 2023, and based on recent results and recent vibes alone, Mumbai seems to have the edge. Their bowling unit has been hot lately, but that wasn’t the case at the start of the tournament. The Titans, meanwhile, proved their form with the ball, including two of the best wicket takers of the season. How Madhwal and co can match Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan will probably decide the outcome of this clash.

However, the Titans’ stick, at least at this point, has been less evident in their bowling. They need to know if Dasun Shanaka is offering enough. And also did more to secure Vijay Shankar when he could have the most impact. More importantly, they need to find a way for Hardik Pandya – the hitter – to make the most of his skills. If that clarity is in place, the Titans will feel like losing qualifying was just a turning point on their journey to defending their IPL title. It won’t be easy against a team that only knows how to win tough games.

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

Team News: Worried about Titans crafting?

Titans played Darshan Nalkande against Super Kings for Yash Dayal but Nalkande was limping after bowling. If Nalkande is not in good form, we can see Dayal coming back. The Titans could also bring in Josh Little as a replacement, but that would blow Shanaka out of the water. Little was a trailblazer for his experience and better bowling numbers compared to Indians who had yet to play, even more so in knockout matches.

With Tilak Varma back in their squad against Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai have no injury concerns.

Impact Player strategy: what will Mumbai do?

Mumbai could use an extra hitter – like in the Eliminator with Nehal Wadhera – and sacrifice extra bowling options to boost their first inning total if they bat first. Otherwise, the default route is Suryakumar Yadav used as a sub-Impact for Indian bowlers.

Bombay Indians (possibly XII): 1 Ishan Kishan (weekday), 2 Rohit Sharma (captain), 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 tend to go with Vijay as an Impact player in the chase or take a fast pitcher if they stick around.

Gujarati Titans (possibly XII): 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 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 Mohammad Shami.

Important Stat: Watch out for Rohit vs. Rashid

It touched 43 degrees in Ahmedabad. Conservators have covered the ground to ensure that it is not abnormally damaged. The court in this game is one of the least used strips – the center has nine sides – and was brought in to provide a running party.

It has been watered enough to ensure that some amount of moisture helps bind it underneath. The Tories are expecting a good pace and bouncing back like the whole season. Humidity is not considered a major factor, helped by the chemicals they use to prevent it from forming.

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Cheryl Tenny

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