A fit-again Suryakumar Yadav will be expected to immediately deliver the goods when faltering Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals lock horns in a bid to arrest their slide in their Indian Premier League clash in Mumbai on April 7.

With three losses in a row, MI are languishing at the bottom whereas Delhi Capitals have spiralled down to the ninth spot in the 10-team points table following a 106-run hammering in their last match.

If MI have once again made a characteristic start of falling into a hole with a string of defeats, the misfiring Delhi Capitals have had a similar fate suffering three losses from four outings and are under pressure to bounce back.

Suryakumar’s potential return to action will keep him at the cynosure since the T20 World Cup follows this iteration of IPL immediately and his form and fitness will be crucial for the Indian campaign.

Having spent the last three months nursing an ankle injury and recovering from a surgery for sports hernia, the world’s premier T20 batter Suryakumar hit the ground running with his first training session here at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

Along with strength and mobility exercises, Suryakumar batted without any visible discomfort to get back in the groove and gear up to come to the rescue of his struggling teammates, who have collectively failed in all departments.

At the top, both Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan have looked promising but neither has notched up a big score yet. The same can be said about the other Indian batters such as Tilak Varma and Naman Dhir, who, irrespective of how appealing they have looked in the middle, are yet to deliver a match-winning performance.

Even the embattled captain Hardik Pandya has not been able to inspire his side. However, for someone who has been subjected to brutal reaction from fans inside the stadiums so far, there could be some respite as the contest on Sunday afternoon will be attended by more than 20,000 children.

Akash Madhwal’s three-for in their last match was the only positive from the bowling front, wherein MI changed the way they used Jasprit Bumrah by giving him three overs in the powerplay but did not have enough runs to challenge Rajasthan Royals.

For DC, comeback star Rishabh Pant (152 runs) has found consistency with two consecutive fifties but he needs support from the others.

Enduring the worst outing so far with the ball wherein DC bowlers kept erring with the line and lengths to allow Kolkata Knight Riders pile up a humongous 272/7, the Pant-led side was short of spunk in reply with the bat to be bowled out for 166.

David Warner (148 runs) and Tristan Stubbs have been marginally better than the other batters but Delhi will hope get the more out of swashbuckling Prithvi Shaw, for whom the Wankhede Stadium is a homeground.

Mitchell Marsh has featured in each of Delhi’s four matches so far but the burly Australian has not been able to impose himself on the opposition. Like a few others in his camp, Marsh too will be desperate to get a big score under the belt.


Mumbai Indians: Hardik Pandya (c), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Dewald Brevis, Jasprit Bumrah, Piyush Chawla, Gerald Coetzee, Tim David, Shreyas Gopal, Ishan Kishan (wk), Anshul Kamboj, Kumar Kartikeya, Akash Madhwal, Kwena Maphaka, Mohammad Nabi, Shams Mulani, Naman Dhir, Shivalik Sharma, Romario Shepherd, Arjun Tendulkar, Nuwan Thushara, Tilak Varma, Vishnu Vinod, Nehal Wadhera, Luke Wood.

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (c&wk), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Abishek Porel, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Vicky Ostwal, Anrich Nortje, Kuldeep Yadav, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Khaleel Ahmed, Ishant Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Tristan Stubbs, Ricky Bhui, Kumar Kushagra, Rasikh Dar, Jhye Richardson, Sumit Kumar, Swastik Chikara, Shai Hope.

Time: 3:30PM IST.


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