The big picture for the tournament won't change regardless of the result of this match, but there are still little goals that both Delhi and Mumbai will aim for in the penultimate round-robin clash of the IPL
One team is through to the semi-finals quite emphatically; the other has been the underperformer of the tournament and is out of contention for a place in the last four. The big picture for the tournament won't change regardless of the result of this match, but there are still little goals that both teams will aim for in the penultimate round-robin clash of the IPL.
Delhi made sure of a semi-final berth so early in the tournament that they've had the luxury of remaining on top of the table despite a couple of defeats in recent games. That, though, has meant they've also lost their winning momentum, and they'll want to ensure they don't go into the semi-final with three defeats in their last four matches. The game against Mumbai is also an opportunity to bring back the players who are likely to be in the playing XI in the semis.
For Mumbai, Thursday's game is their last of the tournament, but it's a chance to move up the ladder to sixth place. Rajasthan's defeat to Kolkata, and their poor net run rate, means Mumbai will move up a slot if they win. It also means, quite amazingly, that a team that was in the running for a semi-final place till their last match could finish up seventh.
Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)
Delhi Daredevils: LWLWW
Delhi have slipped up recently, and their inconsistent batting has been the worry - in their last two defeats they have scored 120 and 134, totals which have been chased down fairly easily.
Mumbai Indians: LLWWL
Mumbai seemed to be getting it together when they beat Bangalore and Punjab in successive games, but they then reverted to their old ways, losing a close game to Rajasthan by two runs. The batting remains inconsistent, and the constant shuffling of the batting order hasn't helped.
With the semi-finals only a couple of days away, Delhi might want to bring back the players who will figure in that game. Rajat Bhatia, who has been so effective with the ball, is likely to return, while David Warner could be back to beef up the batting after their feeble display against Bangalore.
Delhi Daredevils 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag (capt), 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 David Warner, 7 Rajat Bhatia, 8 Dirk Nannes, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Aavishkar Salvi, 11 Ashish Nehra.
Mumbai had started with Sachin Tendulkar at the top of the order, and they could end that way too. Dwayne Bravo has flown out to join his West Indian team-mates in England for the ODI series, which means Luke Ronchi could get a game.
Lasith Malinga is third in the wicket-takers list in the IPL with 17, two short of RP Singh, the leader.
Mumbai's batsmen have made the most number of 50-plus scores, 12, while JP Duminy leads the way with five. Delhi and Chennai are next with ten, with Delhi having the only centurion of the tournament in AB de Villiers.
In nine games, Sehwag has scored 109 runs at an average of 13.62. He is sixth in the run-scorers' chart for Delhi.
Mumbai have a net run rate of +0.401, which is the second-highest in the tournament, after Chennai. Delhi's net run rate is +0.251.
The last time they played each other, Delhi scored a comfortable seven-wicket win, chasing down 117 with plenty to spare. In the two matches they played last season, both teams won at home: Mumbai by 29 runs, and Delhi by five wickets.