All but out of contention for the playoffs, Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to salvage a difficult season by sorting out their batting woes when they take on Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League match here today. Mumbai is in the second spot in the IPL standings with 14 points, while Bangalore is second from bottom after having won just two of their 10 games. Mumbai Indians have won seven of their nine games so far and are in contention to make it to the playoffs. When the two sides meet at the Wankhede stadium, the hosts will have a distinct upper hand as they have just lost one game at the venue. The form of opener Parthiv Patel, who scored a 70 against Gujarat Lions, will please the Mumbai Indians management.
Parthiv will like to continue from where he left in the last game and he, along with Englishman Jos Buttler, would like to give the team a flying start. Mumbai won their match against Gujarat Lions in a super over after both the teams were tied at 153, and they would like to dominate Royal Challengers Bangalore right from the word go.
They would except their batters Patel, Buttler, skipper Rohit Sharma, Nitesh Rana and the Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik — to fire in unison. Mumbai will also like to get back to winning ways at the Wankhede as they lost their last match against Rising Pune Supergiant. As far as their bowling is concerned, the comeback of Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, who picked up two wickets last night, will please coach Shane Bond. The biggest positive for Mumbai has been their death overs bowling, courtesy Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
Krunal and seasoned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh have been effective and the team management would like all these bowlers to restrict the RCB batting line-up. It is also expected that Malinga would be retained in the team.For RCB, their batters, some of the best in the world on paper, have failed miserably in this tournament.
Skipper Virat Kohli’s half-century in the previous match against Rising Pune Supergiant was the only bright spot of their performance last night. But if RCB have to score big on a batting-friendly Wankhede pitch, the likes of Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Kohli, A B de Villiers and Kedar Jadhav will need to fire in unison, which hasn’t happened so far.
The RCB would also need their key spinner Samuel Badree to execute his plans well to stop the formidable Mumbai line-up. He will need support from the likes of Srinath Arvind, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Milne, and Aniket Choudhary to perform. For RCB, their bowling is not a big problem, but their batting is certainly one.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Lendl Simmons, Mitchel Johnson, Mitchell McClenghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, Saurabh Tiwary, Shreyas Gopal, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagdish Suchith, Jaspreet Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Karn Sharma and Vinay Kumar.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Vishnu Vinod, Sreenath Arvind, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Samuel Badree, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tymal Mills, Aniket Chaudhary, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake.