Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians - Indian Premier League Cricket Preview

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Published: 21/05/2014

Mumbai Indians will take to the field once again in the 2014 IPL competition, knowing that they have to start winning if they are to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the latter stages of the competition. Mumbai looked to have a good team on paper, and were highly fancied by the bookmakers before the season began. But it has been a thoroughly underwhelming campaign for the Indians thus far, and they already look likely to exit the competition at the group stage.

If this werenít bad enough news for Mumbai, then the absence of the Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga is an almost insoluble blow for any side. Malinga has flown to England to participate in his countryís tour of the nation, and will play no further part in the remainder of the IPL. Malinga has already proved to be a match winner in England, and his distinct bowling style and penchant for death bowling is absolutely irreplaceable.

Iím sure that Mumbai hoped that theyíd be in a strong position in the 2014 iteration of the IPL by the time Malinga disappeared to chillier climes. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. So what hope do they have of turning their season around without him? Well, one standout performer that they do have in their line-up is Kieron Pollard, who is once again enjoying a strong IPL campaign. The big hitting all-rounder strikes such a big ball that no ground is big enough for him, and he nips in with some useful wickets as well.

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also been enjoying a surprisingly effective IPL, topping the wickets charts for Mumbai leaving aside the absent Malinga. But there is an ageing nature to the Mumbai squad in general, and they need an effective auction next season to spruce up their squad.

If the campaign has been disappointing for Mumbai, it has been little short of disastrous for the Delhi Daredevils. Bottom of the table and with not even a mathematical chance of making the knockout stages, the recriminations and post-mortems are already well underway in Delhi.

The only real plus point for Delhi in this campaign has been the form of a couple of their batsmen. JP Duminy is currently the fifth highest run scorer in the 2014 IPL, and he can at least look back on his IPL campaign with some form of pride. Dinesk Karthik has also made a fair few runs, and next seasonís Delhi IPL campaign will surely have to be built around their batting line-up.

Not least because the Daredevils bowling has been little short of execrable during the current campaign. Shahbaz Nadeem is the leading wicket-taker for Delhi with a paltry seven scalps. Even in T20, itís very difficult to win cricket matches without taking wickets, and the Daredevils have singularly failed to do this during the current campaign.

In terms of the result of this one, Iím a big believer in backing the team with something to play for, which emphatically isnít Delhi, so I fancy the Mumbai Indians to win this one and continue Delhiís dismal season.

Selection: Mumbai Indians to win

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