What defines us is how well we rise after falling. Royal Challengers Bangalore are going through the worst phase maybe they themselves could not have imagined. More than the fallen, it is the fear of falling that has led them to spiral downward. They are next up against the mighty Mumbai Indians and that too at Wankhede. Here are the Match Preview and Predictions as Mumbai Indians face the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It would need no less than a miracle for RCB to pose a challenge for Mumbai. But as they say the players are made when they win matches and greats are made when they win hearts. Can Virat Kohli and co. make an unlikely turnaround?
First super over of IPL 2017, 11 runs to defend and then came Jasprit Bumrah. He bowled a no ball, he survived the free hit, he bowled a slower one, he bowled a yorker and the two destructive batsmen could only swing their arms. The bat was not ready to make contact with the ball as it was either too slow or too fast. And the young Bumrah made them “Gumrah” as he presented an excellent exhibition of nerveless bowling.
Coming off a close win against Gujarat Lions, Mumbai Indians are sitting pretty at the second position in the points table. The players have shown excellent character to win the crucial moments for MI in the close wins. As we move towards the business end of IPL, MI must realise the importance of carrying forward the winning momentum. And they’ll fancy their chances against the shattered RCB.
The pitch at Wankhede has always favoured the batsmen and MI chased down a 170+ score earlier this season in a late afternoon game. So the teams would be looking to field first and batsmen will cherish having a go here.
MUMBAI INDIANS – STRENGTHS
The bowling attack of Mumbai Indians has really carried them forward. Lasith Malinga, making a comeback in the last game fetched important wickets. Krunal Pandya was exceptional with both bat and ball. Harbhajan Singh is ever reliable.
Jasprit Bumrah has proved to be one of the most dangerous death bowlers and he has now started winning them for Mumbai. Parthiv Patel played a handy knock in the last match. The match against Lions would have shaked things up and reminded the Mumbaikars about not taking things lightly.
MUMBAI INDIANS – WEAKNESSES
Their last few games haven’t been as clinical as they would have hoped to be. The matches have gone down to the wire. The middle order has been inconsistent with Nitish Rana, Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma not amongst runs. Hardik Pandya has also not made a significant contribution in the last few matches. Mitchell McClenaghan has been leaking away runs.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – STRENGTHS
There is not much to talk about the positives for a team that has been in shambles. But their disciplined bowling has surprised everyone. Yuzvendra Chahal has been one of the most consistent wicket takers this season. Sanuel Badree and Pawan Negi have done their part well. Even the pacers have managed to keep things quiet. Virat Kohli has been the sole anchor of the batting.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – WEAKNESSES
The area that has been that their strength through the seasons, the batting line up has been struggling to even reach a century. They have got the lowest scoring rate and have lost the most number of wickets in 2017. No batsmen other than Kohli has anything to show. DeVilliers has made single digit scores in the last three outings. Kedar Jadhav has failed to do much. Mandeep singh, Sachin Baby and Stuart Binny have been less than ordinary.
MI – They are likely to field the same side as in the last match against Gujarat.
Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Butler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma (capt), Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.
RCB – RCB would themselves be wondering whom to pick. Shane Watson or Chris Gayle may replace the unimpressive Travis Head.
Virat Kohli (capt), Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Adam Milne, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Played – 20. MI – 12, RCB – 8
In Wankhede: Played – 6, MI – 3, RCB – 3
Earlier this season at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, MI recovered from Badree’s hat trick and 33-5 to chase down 143 riding on Pollard’s 70. Virat Kohli made a handsome 62.
If RCB bats first
1st Innings Score: 140 – 150
MI wins with 5 wickets in hand.
If MI bats first
1st Innings Score: 160 – 170
MI wins by 20 – 30 runs.