Match 26 of IPL will see the winless Mumbai Indians (MI) lock horns with Lucknow Super Giants (LSG).
MI will be looking to earn their first points of the season for the first time in the franchise’s history (April 16).
Cricket fans have been stunned by the dismal form of the the five time IPL winners, MI.
Rohit Sharma’s side has lost all five matches so far and are yet to post any points on the table.
Newcomers LSG have performed creditably so far, winning three of their 5 matches so far.
Last match form and team news
LSG were unlucky to lose their last match against RR.
In a closely fought encounter at the Wankhede stadium, they were edged out by 3 runs, enabling RR to climb on top of the table.
Shimron Hetmyer’s impeccable 59*(36) was the highlight of the Rajasthan Royals innings before Yuzvendra Chahal sparkled with a four-wicket haul as RR successfully defended the 165 run target in the last over.
However, LSG were very much in the game and had quite a few positives.
Quinton de Kock continued his fluent form and Marcus Stoinis gave a glimpse of his ability with an attractive 38 not out.
For Mumbai, it was a familiar tale of the top order failing to deliver and Suryakumar Yadav playing a lone hand.
But in a tournament like IPL, it is unfair to expect Surya to bail out MI each time.
The other big problem has been the lack of depth in MI’s bowling.
There has been zero support for Bumrah who is clearly feeling the pressure. Moreover, it appears that the batters of other franchises have worked out how to play Bumrah.
No wonder, Bumrah has been good in patches but has also been targeted successfully not just by batters but also all-rounders like like Pat Cummins.
Murugan Ashwin has been impressive but has not filled the big void left by Rahul Chahar.
The Hooda and Badoni factor
Deepak Hooda has been one of the most improved batters of IPL 2022.
He has looked good in all the matches and is brimming with confidence.
Interestingly, he has played big shots without taking risks, thereby giving the middle order a good mix of solidity and explosiveness.
Badoni looks like a batter for the future.
A fantastic find, he reminds us of Ajinkya Rahane when in full flow. His timings is out of the world and seems to like the high pressure situations.
The Badoni and Hooda combination is the X factor that can take LSG a really long way.
LSG’ bowling riches
Avesh Khan & Ravi Bishnoi are the star bowlers for LSG, while Holder has also taken wickets in the middle overs.
K Gowtham has also been impressive in the 2 matches he has played.
Dushmantha Chameera and Krunal Pandya are also handy bowlers.
Stoinis and Tye are experienced players who can always be relied upon to do a containing job or create a breakthrough.
The Brabourne square has been very versatile.
It has hosted both high run-scoring and low-end thrillers.
However, in the last couple of matches, the pitch has been a belter to bat on with the ball coming onto the bat nicely.
Performance of key LSG players against MI
Quinton de Kock
Date – Friday, April 16, 2022
Time – 3:30 PM IST
Venue – Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
MI Likely 11
Rohit Sharma (c)- 108 runs
Ishan Kishan (wk) – 178 runs
Suryakumar Yadav- 163 runs
Tilak Varma- 157 runs
Kieron Pollard- 57 runs
Jaydev Unadkat 25 runs
Dewald Brevis- 86 runs, 1 wicket
Murugan Ashwin- 5 wickets
Tymal Mills- 6 wickets
Basil Thampi- 5 wickets
Jasprit Bumrah- 4 wickets
LSG Likely 11
KL Rahul (c): 132 Runs
Quinton de Kock (wk): 188 runs
Deepak Hooda: 155 runs
Ayush Badoni- 107 runs
Avesh Khan: 8 wickets
Krunal Pandya: 68, 3 wickets
Andrew Tye: 2 wickets
M Stoinis: 38 runs
Ayush Badoni- 107 runs
Jason Holder- 5 wickets
Evin Lewis- 71 runs
Ravi Bishnoi- 4 wickets
Who will win
LSG is clearly the team in better form but MI will be desperate to prove their detractors wrong.
Rohit Sharma is due for a big score and Tilak Varma is capable of being a game changer.
Based on the law of averages, MI could emerge winners.