17th, May 2023 Gujarat Titans became the first team to qualify for the playoffs in TATA IPL 2023 with an emphatic win over Sunrisers Hyderabad last night. With three more spots up for grabs, five-time champions Mumbai Indians and newbies Lucknow Super Giants take on each other tonight in Lucknow as they aim to get a step closer towards booking the playoffs berth.
Living up to their ‘late bloomers’ tag, MI gathered steam in the second half of the TATA IPL 2023 and their juggernaut continues to roll. The Rohit Sharma-led side has won four of its last five games and will be aiming to pick up two vital points tonight in Lucknow.
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh believes Mumbai Indians can very well finish amongst the top two at the end of the league stage and give themselves an extra shot at lifting their sixth TATA IPL trophy.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, Harbhajan Singh said, “Mumbai Indians has once again proven, it is a champion side and it knows how to come back strongly. People weren’t counting this MI after it was on a losing streak in the first phase of the competition, but once it returned to the winning track, there was no stopping this side. It can also finish the league stage amongst the top two. If MI ends up winning the remaining two games, it will get to 18 points. GT has 18 points already and no other team will be able to get 18 points now, except MI.”
Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag has backed star MI batter Suryakumar Yadav to be the permanent batter at number three because of his brilliance against pace and spin.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, Virender Sehwag opined, “SKY can be the permanent No. 3 for Mumbai Indians because he’s a good player of pace and spin. Although it all boils down to the team management (when it comes to taking such decisions), but I strongly believe he should get to face more balls.”
Meanwhile, young India batting sensation Shubman Gill continued to raise his stocks in TATA IPL by slamming his maiden century in the competition.
The 22-year-old Gujarat Titans opener has been a force to reckon with in the ongoing season and left former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh impressed with the wide range of shots in his batting repertoire.
Speaking on Star Sports Studio, Harbhajan Singh said, “The speciality of Shubman Gill is that he has all kinds of shots and he chooses his shots according to the situation. When Shubman is in his rhythm, he plays pure cricketing shots and this is a testimony to how strong his batting coaching has been. He doesn’t play random shots. It’s a great feeling to watch Shubman’s straight dives and pull shots.”
Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar also lavished praise on this cricketer from Punjab and his ability to read the ball well.
Speaking on Star Sports Studio, Sunil Gavaskar said, “Gill has a lot of time to play shots. The reason for this is that he reads the ball well and then decides on his shot. Gill is in the right balance and his head position is good while playing any shot, and he also executes it well.”
Catch LIVE & Exclusive action of Lucknow Super Giants vs Mumbai Indians, 16 thMay, 2023, 7.30 PM onwards, on the Star Sports Network