RCB seek upset at Wankhede
Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Wednesday, May 09th 8 pm
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
The Royal Challengers Bangalore take on the Mumbai Indians for the first time in 2012 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday night.
Both teams are on the high of intense victories from Sunday, MI from a last ball win against CSK and RCB from an AB de Villiers swashbuckling innings for the ages against Dale Steyn and the Deccan Chargers.
The difference between the two sides is just 3 points but a RCB win would see them leapfrog from 7th place in the table to the 4th. The top two sides DD and KKR putting good distance between themselves and the others and show no signs of letting down leaving 3rd or 4th place realistic targets to get to and hold.
RCB made a bunch of bold calls against Deccan but doing the same against a stronger MI unit will be a bigger gamble. The bowlers gave away 181/2 even with Murali in the playing XI, Mithun providing no reason to be retained Syed Mohammad and Zaheer Khan unable to get breakthroughs. Vinay Kumar could return to replace Mithun while a question mark hangs over Asad Pathan.
Dilshan, de Villiers and to an extent even Gayle and Agarwal clicked against DC. Depending on the pitch for the game Andrew McDonald could come in for Dilshan though his performance against DC was crucial. Virat Kohli coming to form could make the team even more formidable and the Wankhede, a favorite hunting ground of his should provide him the inspiration and calm he seems to need.
RCB themselves will need a lot more from Kohli. His rotation of the bowlers against DC could have been better and a mistake against MI who bat deep could hurt a lot. The decision to send in Pathan ahead of de Villiers was a smart gamble but in an innings of just 20 overs, it’s important that your best batsmen face as many balls as they can. MI’s entire attack is an international quality one and attacking them will take the very best batsmen of RCB.
MI find luck going their way at the moment with many a tight game swinging their way. Dwayne Smith’s sensational finish provided an additional edge to their lower order batting strength and the Caribbean cricketer is likely to hold his place over the lackluster James Franklin or underutilized Robin Peterson if Kieron Pollard is fit to play.
Lasith Malinga and Munaf Patel are among the top wicket takers this season and Harbhajan Singh too has found his rhythm after initial struggles. Tendulkar looked untouchable in his innings against CSK and Rohit Sharma complimented him well with his calculated innings. They have Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Smith for back up if needed.
RCB will also have on their agenda payback for the 2011 CLT20 final, something that should give an extra boost to their performance against MI. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but any colder and it might be too late for RCB.