Big picture: Rohit Sharma vs Hardik Pandya
Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan vs Rashid Khan. Hardik Pandya vs Jofra Archer. Wriddhiman Saha vs Piyush Chawla. Well, it’s also Rohit versus Hardik, only the second time in the IPL. The only two Indian players in this competition who have tasted success on their debut season as captains will go head-to-head in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
Mumbai Indians lost their first two matches, clinched their next three games in a row, before going down to Punjab Kings in a high-scoring game. They sit at the seventh position with six points whereas Gujarat Titans are fourth on the table with eight points. And after four weeks, it’s tough to pick a favourite between them.
Mumbai are a batting-heavy side, with their top-six batters striking at more than 140 in this season. With Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav showing results in the last few matches, Rohit will be content with their middle order that also includes the aggressive Tilak Varma and Tim David.
However, the same can’t be said of their bowling department. Chawla has bowled the most for Mumbai, has picked up the most wickets (nine) and his economy rate (6.86) is also the best for his side (minimum two games). But the rest of the lot – who have played two or more matches this season – has leaked more than nine runs per over.
Even though Titans return to their home ground, they have lost two of the three games there in IPL 2023. In fact, their defeats have only come at home. In the batting line-up, Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha, despite not clicking as an opening pair, have performed as individuals.
However, despite the likes of David Miller and Hardik chipping in, Titans have struggled to score freely in the middle overs. At 7.37 runs per over, they have one of the lowest run rates among all teams from overs 7 to 15. This is an area which Mumbai would be keen to exploit against a team that fires away in the final five.
Gujarat Titans WLWLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Mumbai Indians LWWWL
Jofra Archer is back for Mumbai after being on the bench due to soreness in his right elbow.
Toss and Impact Player strategy
Allrounder Jayant Yadav took over Gill’s place in the XI when the team was bowling and they are likely to continue with this approach. The opposite will work too if they bowl first.
Probable XII: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 Hardik Pandya (capt), 4 Vijay Shankar, 5 Abhinav Manohar, 6 David Miller, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Josh Little/Noor Ahmad, 12 Jayant Yadav
Mumbai might bring in Riley Meredith for Jason Behrendorff in their XI, with batter Nehal Wadhera and one of these two overseas bowlers as impact players.
Probable XII: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Cameron Green, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Tilak Varma, 6 Tim David, 7 Arjun Tendulkar, 8 Hrithik Shokeen, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Piyush Chawla, 11 Jason Behrendorff/Riley Meredith, 12 Nehal Wadhera
Stats that matter
Pitch and conditions
One can expect a another high-scoring game. In the three games played at the Narendra Modi Stadium this season, teams have put up totals in excess of 175 on all occasions. Tuesday evening will be very warm, with temperature touching 40 degrees Celsius during the day.
“If a batsman scores a hundred and 60% of the runs comes from cover drives, nobody asks him why he played that shot so many times. This is what (bowling googlies) I have been doing since the beginning. My 60-odd % of wickets come in googlies.
Piyush Chawla answers a straight one
Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo