Every franchise in the league has its own set of stars who can single-handedly win matches on their day. But there are players who have consistently done that, such are Lasith Malinga and Morne Morkel.
Both have been impact players, Malinga for Mumbai Indians since the inception of the T20 league and Morkel has been Delhi Daredevils’ go-to bowler for the last two seasons. They are both winners of the Purple Cap which underlines their value to their teams.
On Tuesday, as the tournament completes it first week, Malinga and Morkel are likely to be seen in the action for the first time. And their respective teams would be looking up to them to provide the early initiative at the Wankhede stadium.
More so for the Daredevils, the three-time semi-finalists have been off colour so far with back-to-back losses and have sorely missed the services of Morkel. The South Africa pacer, who was playing in the South African domestic T20 league, joined Daredevils only on Monday.
The 6 ft 6 in pacer missed the practice session, but the management indicated he will play against Mumbai. After the insipid bowling that saw Delhi concede 165 to Rajasthan Royals in the last game, Morkel’s presence will be a boost. He and Umesh Yadav, who returned figures of 4 for 24 in that match, will be a perfect combination and can trouble Mumbai batsmen on a helpful pitch affording pace and bounce.
Mumbai too would welcome Malinga with open arms, though they managed to restrict the Chennai Super Kings in the last match as they registered their first win.
The Sri Lankan’s toe-crushing yorkers have so far been missed by Mumbai, which has meant they have conceded too many runs in the final overs. If Morkel and Malinga hit their stride, the batsmen are in for a tough time.