RCB face MI seeking revenge
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians
Monday, May 14th 4 pm
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore meet the Mumbai Indians for the second time in a week at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Monday night. A win against MI who are just a point ahead will take RCB to 3rd place on the points table.
RCB’s bowlers set up their win against MI at the Wankhede Stadium before Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli sealed a dominant nine wicket win.
RCB overcame a few stutters to seal another all round win over PWI since then, MI rode on the back of a superb ton from Rohit Sharma and disciplined bowling to beat the in-form KKR away.
The pace unit of Zaheer, Vinay and Harshal benefitted from assistance in the pitches at Mumbai and Pune, the return to the M Chinnaswamy pitch will test them and even the spinners severely. They conceded 182/1 in their previous fixture against DC here, with their two openers decided MI are easily capable of posting much larger totals. Appanna and Harshal were both expensive but got wickets, their performance could be the difference against the international pedigree line up of Mumbai’s bowling.
Harbhajan Singh was reluctant to bowl himself against KKR but RCB were cautious against him at Mumbai and rightly so. The offspinner has been economical in the last few games for Mumbai and has a very experienced and able attack at his command. Malinga is lethal with his ability to take the pitch out of the equation. Munaf and Pollard can suffocate batsmen with their tight wicket to wicket lines while Ojha is an established left arm spinner in the IPL.
Mumbai have founded much needed balance in their batting line up after Gibbs came in to partner Sachin Tendulkar at the top. After a rare Sachin failure, Gibbs attacked KKR beautifully and supported Rohit Sharma as the youngster struck a sensational ton. Their bowlers got them early crucial strikes but couldn’t do much to unsettle the later batsmen, their resolve will be tested greater against RCB if Dilshan, Gayle and co get going.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik can do a good job of innings building or slogging while Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan as well can give their team a good finish.
Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers have cornered the glory in RCB wins but Tillakaratne Dilshan has been the silent bedrock on which they’ve built their innings. This is Dilshan’s chance to play a trademark dazzling innings with the rest complimenting him. Virat Kohli’s on-off season will frustrate him and he will want to carry on from where he left off against them at the Wankhede.
Saurabh Tiwary started slow but gave RCB a respectable finish with his knock at Pune, showing glimpses of what he’s capable of and the youngster will be excited to prove himself again.
Permutations and combinations aside RCB will still be comfortably placed for a place in the play offs only if they win all their games. Mumbai are legitimate contenders and a week can make a big difference in T20s. They will be seeking revenge and beating them will be a huge boost both on the points table and in the mind.