The 6th and 7th placed teams on the points table take on each other in their second game against each other this season. Their last match ended with Mumbai winning the game by 46 runs, their first victory of the season. Both teams have been struggling this season to play cohesively. The fortunes of both teams have failed to take an upswing as the tournament has progressed, but both teams still have a window for qualification to the eliminators.
Both teams need to win six out of their seven remaining games to stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Mumbai have done it in the past, while RCB have won four in four to qualify in the past. MI won their last game, can they win another to raise some eyebrows?
Rohit Sharma (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manan Vohra, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee, Corey Anderson.
Where the teams stand
Mumbai’s second victory of the tournament further proved the obvious. If their top four perform, they will win most games. Their bowlers remained exceptional as they restricted CSK to just 169 after 20 overs. Jayawardene rolled in the changes after a disappointing first six games, and it seems to have worked, but has it really? None of the incoming players had a good game. Duminy and Cutting did not get to bat, while Cutting’s one over went for 14 runs. Sharma dropped the excellent Fizz in favour of Cutting, and he might just go back on it against Bangalore, especially with the batting they possess.
The formula pretty much remains the same for Mumbai. Their bowling has been solid all season, and if their batting can fire, RCB will be in for another tough night. The Chinnaswamy wicket has not been it’s usual self in the recent games, however. Sharp turn, odd bounce, balls holding up and not coming on to the bat, all of these have been major issues. Rain briefly interrupted the game between RCB and KKR, and it is something MI will remember during the toss.
Fantasy Picks: The top four. Every single time. Amongst the bowlers, Markande and Bumrah are reliable options due to their conservative economies and knack for wickets.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Challengers continue to languish at the bottom half of the table as they continue to try and figure out the perfect combination of eleven from their squad. As always, they have been overdependent on AB and Kohli to win them matches, and the two have failed to carry the team this year. They have simply not received the support they need to explode, and it has hurt the side. The bowlers have also been more expensive than ever, putting even more pressure on the batting to score 200+ in every match. Add their terrible fielding against KKR, and it is a perfect recipe for failure.
RCB have tinkered with their combination as much as they could, and their side for this game is likely to undergo some changes with the imminent return of AB. Their under-performing bowlers are also under-fire despite the changes, and the attack has been the primary Achilles heel of their side. The Chinnaswamy wicket changing in the recent games to a slower wicket does not serve them well, and this will be an uphill task for a side that has looked dejected and deflated in recent matches.
Fantasy Picks: AB, Kohli, are the obvious picks from RCB. Yadav and Chahal are the bowlers most reliable from Bangalore. The former has bowled some beauties over the course of this season and remains a lethal threat for RCB.
Mumbai win. RCB just do not look like they are capable of putting up a collective performance to pull off a victory.
Can the Indians claim a vital win, or will RCB pull off the upset? Let us know in the comments below.