Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would have taken a sigh of relief after registering their first win against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
On the other hand, the Mumbai Indians (MI) would want to forget their previous encounter with Rajasthan Royals and redeem themselves by showing their might against RCB at Wankhede.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
If we talk about RCB, the team is heavily reliant on skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to score most of the runs. The middle-order hasn’t been able to give them match-winning performances till now and the team management would want international players – Moeen Ali and Marcus Stoinis – to step up with their all-around abilities.
In the previous two games, both the all-rounders have chipped in with decent performances but their stay at the crease was limited. Against the Mumbai franchise, on a batting friendly wicket, a lot would depend on these two to help the team post a big target.
Parthiv Patel has scored 191 runs from seven games and is the third highest scorer for the team after Kohli (270) and de Villiers (232). Patel has to be aggressive at the start as his striking rate dips once the power-play overs are over.
On the bowling front, the biggest asset for RCB has been none other than leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal, who is third highest wicket-taker with 11 scalps to his credit, will look to continue his golden run in the game when he gets the opportunity to bowl.
His variations of leg-spin and googly can prove to be lethal as the Wankhede wicket assists spinners. The Mumbai side would have to see him through cautiously as Chahal is a genuine wicket-taker and can break the backbone of any opposition.
Apart from Chahal and Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj have been inconsistent and expensive in the tournament so far. The RCB bowling will be strengthened by Dale Steyn, who comes as a replacement for injured Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Placed at the fourth position with eight points from seven games, Mumbai Indians would be eager to win against RCB and move to the third spot on the table and seal a birth for the playoffs.
Rohit Sharma is back in the side and will lead the team against Kohli’s men. The best thing for MI is that Sharma struck form in the last game against Rajasthan. If he can continue striking the ball as we all know, it would be difficult for the opposition to contain him.
His opening partner, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has finally shown why he is considered to be one of the most lethal batsmen in white-ball cricket. With 238 runs under his belt, the wicketkeeper-batsman will be given the responsibility to get his team off to a great start again.
We can see Yuvraj Singh coming back to the side in today’s game, in place of Ishan Kishan who has failed to capitalize on the chances given to him.
As for the bowlers, Alzarri Joseph will have to sacrifice his place for veteran Lasith Malinga. Joseph was really expensive in the previous game as Jos Buttler completely destroyed his rhythm as he went on to score 28 from a single over.
Although an official word is awaited, Joseph might not feature in the rest of the tournament as he sustained a shoulder injury while fielding.
Head to Head: 26
MI: 17RCB: 9
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan/Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Jospeh/Lasith Malinga, Jason Behrendorff, and Jasprit Bumrah.
RCB: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, and Mohammed Siraj.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar