It will take a sporting miracle for Mumbai Indians to progress to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League. Their hopes are still alive, though, and they have to beat a struggling Delhi Daredevils side on Friday to keep it so.
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Date: Friday, May 23
Time: 11:30 p.m. BST, 4 p.m. local time
Live on: Sony Six, Star Sports HD, Star Sports 1 (India), ITV4 (United Kingdom), SuperSport (South Africa), OSN (UAE), SkyTV (New Zealand), Network Ten (Australia), Channel 9 (Bangladesh), Sportsnet and Omni (Canada), Sports Max (West Indies), Geo Super (Pakistan) and Starhub (Singapore).
Weather: AccuWeather predicts a reasonably hot and muggy day for Mumbai. Temperatures will reach up to 33 degrees Celsius and it will be quite hazy with plenty of sunshine.
The Mumbai Indians have managed to keep their playoff hopes alive, but only just. Thanks to an impressive win over table-topping Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday, Mumbai still have a slim chance of slipping into the playoffs.
The win came without star bowlers Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh and saw replacement batsman Lendl Simmons score the first century of the tournament.
What will boost Mumbai's confidence ahead of their clash against Delhi is that the Wankhede Stadium is somewhat of a fortress for them. They have lost just one out of their last 11 games at the ground.
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma is certainly daring to dream big. At the post-match ceremony following the win over Kings XI, he encouraged his charges to believe as quoted by IndiaTVNews.com:
Anything is possible. The important aspect is, we go back to Bombay (Mumbai), and we hope we put up the performance that is expected of us in familiar territory. I have always said that we are a capable side. It’s just that we didn’t do well in our first five games in the UAE.
In order to still have a shot at the playoffs, Mumbai have to beat Delhi on Friday and the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. That will take their points tally to 14 and to progress, they will have to hope that other results go their way too.
The defending champions have been boosted by the arrival of Simmons who has posted scores of 38, 68, 12, 62 and 100 not out in his last five games.
For Delhi, the picture is far bleaker. They simply have not clicked this season. The batting has been below par and the bowling has failed to impress. Captain Kevin Pietersen has struggled and will need to do something special to get a win in the bag.
Mumbai are the favourites and with the home crowd behind them, they should be able to clinch another win.
With Lendl Simmons doing his thing with the bat, it's important that Mumbai's bowlers step up to the challenge. There will be no Lasith Malinga, he has left for international duty, so the young bowlers who did the job against Kings XI will have to make their mark once again.
While JP Duminy has been the star of Delhi's show, the Daredevils need a collective team performance in order to do well against Mumbai. Their faltering campaign has gone beyond just needing one hero.
Rohit Sharma (c), Corey Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah, Marchant de Lange, Ben Dunk, Chidhambaram Gautam, Shreyas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Hussey, Praveen Kumar, Sushant Marathe, Pragyan Ojha, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare, Apoorv Wankhade.
Delhi Daredevils squad: Kevin Pietersen (C), Mayank Agarwal, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinto de Kock, JP Duminy, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, S Kaul, Milind Kumar, Mohammed Shami, S Nadeem, Jimmy Neesham, Wayne Parnell, H Sharath, R Sharma, Laxmiratan Shukla, R Shukla, Ross Taylor, Manoj Tiwary, S Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, M Vijay and J Yadav.