Titans are coming off a 15 point loss to Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier while Mumbai Indians beat Lucknow Super Giants by 81 points to enter the second qualifier.
While the Titans have been consistent, claiming 10 league stage wins for the second straight season, they were defeated in the first qualifier in Chepauk by Dhoni’s leadership trickery.
The decision to chase backfired on fly-half Shubman Gill unable to get the required support from mid-order hitters, with the captain Hardik PandyaDavid Miller, Rahul Tewatia and Vijay Shankar all fail together.
The bowling unit also looked a bit clueless when wickets were elusive in Powerplay overs. Despite a mid-round fightback by the spinners, they weren’t able to hold CSK to a huntable total.
The Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, have gone from strength to strength after an indifferent start to the campaign. The absence of top pacemaker Jasprit Bumrah and the injury of Jofra Archer opened up opportunities for Akash Madhwal, who was able to seize the opportunity, and Chris Jordan.
IPL 2023 | MI versus GT | Mumbai’s ultimate showdown against Gujarat for a place in the final
Madhwal’s 5/5 is the best bowling figure in an IPL knockout clash, mimicking Anil Kumble’s feat in 2009. The two teams have battled once, with the Titans winning by 55 points here and the Mumbai Indians returning the favor to Wankhede by 27 points. .
The stage is set for an intriguing clash. TOI looks at the key matches and factors at play:
Mumbai Openers vs. Shami
When the two teams faced off here, MI bowling coach Shane Bond said the Titans gave them a bowling masterclass in Powerplay. Shami and Pandya turned down scoring opportunities and created pressure which resulted in wickets.
The spinners then kept the momentum going, which contributed to an easy triumph. How Ishan Kishan and Captain Rohit Sharma conduct their cases against Shami & co. may well decide the momentum.
Suryakumar vs. Rashid
Suryakumar Yadav’s form has been vital to MI’s resurgence. In the initial phase of the IPL, SKY’s form was shaky which led to indifferent results for this team.
His rise to form coincided with MI’s rise to the top four in the table. How he goes about his business against the Afghan duo could very well decide the middle.
Green vs. Mohit
Mohit Sharma’s ability to do his job quietly means GT haven’t missed out on the services of Lockie Ferguson, who left them before the mini-auction this season, and West Indian Alzarri Joseph, whose bowling didn’t been up to the mark.
How Mohit plays in the middle order of MI comprising Green, Varma and Tim David will tell which way the match swings.
Gill vs. Madhwal
Gill and Saha provided solid and stable starts, but the latter did not make a significant contribution. With Madhwal seizing the opportunity in Bumrah’s absence and GT not having played against him, it will be a test for both hitters against MI’s new ball bowlers.
Pandya vs Chawla
Pandya’s stick has been a bit of a mess over the past few games. He must raise the bar with David Miller, Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia and Dasun Shanaka if GT is to reach their second consecutive final.
But it won’t be easy against the likes of Chawla, who is third in the list of top wicket takers. He has 21 wickets in 15 games at an economy rate of 7.75. Jordan and Green provided bowling weight, which was lacking at the start of the season.
Show IPL 2023 Qualifier 2: GT take on MI in a virtual semi-final