To start with, it is the name of Harbhajan Singh that comes to mind when thinking about Mumbai Indians. It’s the biggest question of this year’s IPL: Why Rohit Sharma dropped Harbhajan Singh?
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On one side, his fan club was expecting a call-up for Bhajji, as he is popularly known, to Indian cricket team for the Champions Trophy, on the other side, he doesn’t even suits to plans of Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier.
That’s the perils of making oodles of changes in the side as if a player or two performs in that game, then it leaves a captain in a tizzy and the same thing happened with Rohit Sharma. He made five changes in the side in the last league stage game. Ambati Rayudu, who scored a century retained his place and flopped in the qualifier. Rana was the one who faced the axe. Bhajji was the other one who was treated the same way and as a result, Mumbai faltered against Pune.
By virtue of finishing league stage on the top position, they have been blessed with one more chance to seal a berth in the final and if they make silly mistakes now, then skipper Rohit Sharma is to be blamed for not following the traditional way of captaincy in India.
Previous encounter –
The two teams qualifying for playoffs met each other twice in the current season and it was Mumbai Indians that won both the games. Again, Mumbai will look to continue the same form but KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir has already said that his team will look to give it back to Mumbai in the game that will frame the stage for the finals.
Recent form –
KKR – WLWWWLWWWLLWLLW
Mumbai Indians – LWWWWWWLWWWLLWL
Talking points –
The biggest talking point going into the game will be Harbhajan Singh’s comeback. Is it on the cards or not? Surely, Mumbai would not repeat the mistake of keeping an ‘experienced’ Bhajji out of the side.
The off-spinner himself would be itching to prove his captain wrong if he gets a chance in this crunch game.
The second talking point is the dominance of Mumbai Indians. They have won both the games against KKR this season and again, the side will look to add one more win against the same side.
Mumbai Indians Predicted XI:
Parthiv Patel, Lendl Simmons, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.