Mumbai Indians take on strugging Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday evening.
The fortunes of the two teams competing in Match 38 of AIPL 2017 are as different as day and night. Mumbai Indians (7 wins, 2 losses) are sitting pretty in the top two places of the IPL standings; while Royal Challengers Bangalore lie closer to the floor of the table with just two wins from their ten matches.
Mumbai Indians have been one of the top sides in this IPL along with the Kolkata Knight Riders. They have emerged out to be the team to beat this season. With a very settled lineup that has seen all the departments clicking for them, Mumbai look like the firm favorites to make it to the playoffs.
RCB have had a dismal run in the tournament thus far. They are almost out of the tournament. Even if they win all their remaining fixtures, they can still not make it to the playoffs. They will have to depend on complex calculations and the results of the other matches to reach the playoffs.AThe last time these two sides met, it was MI who had registered a 4 wicket win at Bengaluru.
It is very unlikely that the Mumbai Indians will tinker with their winning combination. The batsmen have been getting runs for them and the bowlers have been bowling immaculately too. Moreover, the fact that the team loves to stick to the same lineup over long stretches only strengthens this claim.
The bowling department needs to step up to the occasion. On most occasions, they have seen one bowler proving to be very expensive in every game. Mitch McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga look very threatening on the paper. MI spinners Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya have been very economical with the ball; and have been choking the run-flow in the middle overs.
Selection woes for Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore have tried everything possible that they could this season. None of their permutations and combinations have clicked for them thus far. Skipper Virat Kohli is bound to have selection conundrums. The biggest question would be to choose between playing their best side or to try out their bench strength. Expect Shane Watson to be back in the frame at the expense of Travis Head.
Adam Milne might make way for the English speedster Tymal Mills, who did not play the previous game due to a back spasm. Samuel Badree and Yuzvendra Chahal have been the only successful bowlers for RCB in the season thus far. The batting boasts of heavyweights but none in form barring Kohli. Players like Sachin Baby and Stuart Binny need to take their opportunities and make them count.
Head to Head :
Matches – 20
Mumbai Indians – 12, Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8
Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma (C), Nitish Rana, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli (C), Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal.