The defending Champions Indians of Mumbai will try to resolve their troubles from the middle line and get their campaign back on track when they take on the inconsistent Rajasthan Royals in IPL play here on Thursday.
MI enter the match after suffering back-to-back losses, the last of which is a nine-wicket defeat against the Punjab Kings in Chennai and has to start again in Delhi.
Sanju-led Samson Rajasthan has lost three times in the tournament so far and will strive to build on the six-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous match.
But the middle line of Mumbai, which boasts hard-hitting batsmen like Suryakumar Yadav (154 tracks), Ishan Kishan (73 tracks), Hardik Pandya (36 tracks), Crowned Panda (29 tracks) and Kieran Pollard (65 tracks) have not shot in unison so far.
The midfield can include any good attack in a pass on any given day, and Sharma will hopefully have their fight snap on Thursday when the action moves to the ground of Feroz Shah Kotla here.
Foot spinner Rahul Chahar (9 straps) and Krunal (3 straps) are also impressive and will again have to play their roles to perfection.
Pollard is used as a fifth or sixth bowler, even when Hardick only plays as a batsman.
However, Mumbai can play Adam Milne in place of Giant Yadav.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, has many issues to consider, especially in the absence of key foreign players – Joffra Archer, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and Andrew Ty.
RRs do not yet have an opening combination. They tried Manan Vohra (42 tracks) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (22 tracks) at the top, but both failed to convert their starts.
An Englishman Joss Butler will have to score a big goal to compliment his skipper Sanju Samson, who is the team’s leading goal scorer (187), although he is inconsistent.
And likeable Shivam Dube, David Miller and Ryan Parag, will have to support the highest order, parting with the much-needed contributions.
Universal Chris Morris (9 wickets and 48 tracks) blew hot and cold and will again be under pressure to give it a high price.
Left-handed pacer Chetan Sakarya (7 wickets) was a revelation, while the experienced duo of Jade’s uncut (4 straps) and Mustafizur Rahman (4 weekends) are decent. However, the three steps with his left hand, together with Maurice, must be consecutive.
Foot spinner Rahul Tewatia has only one wicket from five games, while Shreyas Gopal, another leggie, has gone without a wicket in the two games he has played.
The role of Tevatiya will be crucial if the kings seek to limit the composition of MI, given the performance of Amit Mishra for Delhi.
On Thursday, the dew will not be a factor, as it is an afternoon game.
Teams (from): Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Adam Milne, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar, Chris Lin, Daval Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Niysham, Jasraja Boujarat, Jasdaprat Krun Pandya, Marco Jansen, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Neal, Piyush Chawla, Quinton De Kock (WK), Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Yudhvir Singh.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c & wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Yashaswi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Jaydev Tyadi, Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh.
The match starts at 15:30.