The fixture between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore is technically a battle between the two captains of the Indian cricket team.
Virat Kohli was named the skipper of the Indian squad after MS Dhoni stepped down from the mantle in all formats. He has done a great job so far, but a section of the fans have always liked Rohit Sharma in that position. And the flamboyant opener was given the responsibilities in the one-day series against Sri Lanka when Kohli opted to rest last year. Sharma did a good job too, and that makes it more interesting as the two dashing batsmen lock horn against each other in the Indian Premier League, with their respective sides.
Mumbai Indians have lost all of the three matches they played so far. And all these matches were similar in its outcomes. Every time, Mumbai batted first, managed to put the opponents in pressure with some brilliant bowling, and then faltered in the fag end to hand over the win in the last overs.
In the first match, it was Dwayne Bravo who played a blistering knock to snatch a win for Chennai Super Kings. Then, Deepak Hooda’s calculated innings took Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory against the Indians. And finally, two days ago, Delhi Daredevil’s Jason Roy played a fine knock to get three points for his team. Both of the last matches ended in the last ball of the innings and Mumbai failed to win them on both occasions. It goes without saying that Sharma and co will not expect a similar result tomorrow.
Royal Challengers, on the other hand, started the season with a defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders. But, they returned to winning ways against Kings Xi Punjab. However, the last match was not a good one for Kohli’s side. In Bengaluru, Rajasthan Royals piled up 214 against a hapless bowling attack of Royal Challengers. In response, the star-studded batting lineup of Bangalore tried their best but could only reach 198 from 20 overs.
This match will be played in Mumbai, and both games played there so far have seen batsman-friendly pitches. In the last match, against Delhi, home openers Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav hit at will and registered 102 on board from 9 overs, before the former departed. The opponent opener Roy, playing for the first time this season, did not have any trouble whatsoever as well. He scored a magnificent 91 to win the game for Delhi.
Should the pitch behave similarly, Mumbai might find it hard to stop the top four of Bangalore – Quinton De Kock, Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers.
Team news and possible lineups:
Mumbai Indians brought in Akila Dananjaya in the last match, but his performance should not ensure a second start. Chances are high Ben Cutting will return to the squad. Otherwise, the team should remain unchanged. For Royal Challengers, Kohli might want to stick to the eleven that started last match.
Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma (C), Ishan Kishan (Wk), Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman,
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Quinton De Kock (Wk), Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli (C), AB De Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.