On a crisp Sunday, May 21st, Mumbai Indians (MI) once again proved their mettle by comfortably reaching a towering total of over 200. However, their victory wasn’t the final piece of the puzzle. The playoffs berth was still hanging in the balance, its destiny tethered to the result of the final league game featuring Royal Challengers Bangalore. Despite the weight of uncertainty, the night concluded with the confirmation of MI’s playoff berth, easing the nervous air in their camp.
In the aftermath of the game against SRH, Rohit Sharma, MI’s Captain, voiced his team’s resolve – if they failed to make the cut, the fault would lie solely with them. His words resonated deeply as, despite finishing on 16 points with three wins in their final four matches, MI’s early-season fluctuations left their fate partially in the hands of others. Now, with no room for depending on others’ results, MI stand at a juncture where their performance alone will dictate their destiny. A misstep on the upcoming Wednesday could see them miss out on their sixth shot at the title.
MI’s robust batting line-up has been their cornerstone this season, propelling them to several triumphs. However, their batsmen met with some difficulties during the match at Chepauk. A lesson learned and a strategy revised could be critical moving forward. The likely teams are:
मुंबई इंडियंस: Rohit Sharma (C), Ishan Kishan (WK), Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma/Vishnu Vinod, Nehal Wadhera, Tim David, Chris Jordan, Piyush Chawla, Akash Madhwal, Hrithik Shokeen.
Lucknow Super Giants: Kyle Mayers, Quinton de Kock (WK), Prerak Mankad, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya (C), Nicholas Pooran, Ayush Badoni, K Gowtham, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohsin Khan, Yash Thakur.
As the date for the Eliminator, May 24, 2023, draws closer, the weather forecast predicts a muggy evening at the MA Chidambaram stadium, Chennai. Given the waning par scores at Chepauk in the second innings of the recent games, a score of 150 might very well turn out to be the clincher.
Last year, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), in their debut season, made a strong statement before being eliminated by RCB. Now, they aspire to better their previous performance and proceed deeper into the competition. Despite hurdles, such as losing their skipper KL Rahul and contending with fierce rivals, they’ve shown grit and determination. LSG’s not-so-ideal home record doesn’t deter them, as they are comfortable playing on slow tracks which are expected for the upcoming game. MI, too, will be drawing lessons from their Chepauk game, and LSG will be banking on their top order to fire. It’s a classic showdown in the offing, with both teams having their challenges cut out for this nail-biter.