MI vs RR: Just about a week ago in the IPL, the MI vs RR clash might have been an encounter between the two bottom-placed teams. Now, it suddenly has become a key clash for both teams as they eye a place in the playoffs. A win for Mumbai will take them to third place while for RR, a victory is needed to stay in touch with the top 4.
MUMBAI INDIANS registered three successive wins on the trot, and are suddenly looking certain to finish in the top 4 despite registering just one win in their first five games. Their net run rate took a massive boost as they registered a massive 102 run victory against KKR at the Eden Gardens in their last fixture.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS who were in the top half after five games had a slip-up and languished at the bottom before two consecutive victories brought them to the brink of the playoff qualification spot. The Royals defended 158 against a strong Kings XI squad and then chased 176 against one of the tournament favorites Chennai Super Kings.
HEAD TO HEAD
In the recent past, the Mumbai Indians have had the better of the Royals triumphing 8 times in their last 12 encounters. At the Wankhede, Mumbai Indians have won each of their last four encounters. However, in the reverse fixture at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, it was the Royals who came out on top after a close finish.
|Overall||Since 2012||At the Wankhede|
The Indians finally seem to have got their combination right despite JP Duminy and Ben Cutting not having contributed much to the team’s victories so far. Very rarely does a winning team tinker with the combination, and hence I do not foresee any changes in the Mumbai playing XI.
The experiment of sending Ben Stokes up the order didn’t really work out, and the Englishman is expected to slot back in to the middle order. The Royals may opt for the tried and tested Rahul Tripathi instead of Prashant Chopra in the middle order. Ankit Sharma just bowled a solitary over and the Royals may contemplate bringing in Dhawal Kulkarni in his place. Stuart Binny is expected to keep his place.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, JP Duminy, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan
Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Stuart Binny, Krishnappa Gowtham, Joffra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ish Sodhi,
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With each passing game, the investment on Ben Stokes is coming across as a failed move. The Player of the Tournament from 2017 averages just over 16 with the bat in 9 innings. Stokes with the ball has just taken 3 wickets at an average of 87 and an economy over 9.
But, with Stokes, a big performance is always around the corner. In the reverse fixture, Stokes was just beginning to cut loose before he was castled by Hardik Pandya. Rajasthan will be desperately hoping that their biggest investment will reap rewards in this crucial fixture
STOKES vs MI BOWLERS
|vs Bumrah||11 (15)||0|
|vs McClenaghan||19 (10)||0|
|vs Markande||10 (6)||0|
|vs Hardik Pandya||7 (6)||2|
BUMRAH vs BUTTLER
With Hardik Pandya leading the wickets column for the Mumbai Indians, it may seem that JASPRIT BUMRAH has had a silent year in the IPL. On the contrary, Bumrah has picked up 12 wickets – 10 of them in the death overs, while conceding just 8.30 runs.
Bumrah’s record against the Royals’ in-form man, Buttler, is splendid. In all T20s, Bumrah has dismissed Buttler three times in just nine deliveries, conceding just 2 runs from them. It is essential for MI that they can contain Buttler, and it will be Bumrah’s prime responsibility to ensure this.
Despite missing the first five games, Archer leads the wickets tally for the Royals. Archer made his IPL debut in the reverse fixture at the SMS Stadium, and picked up the man of the match. It will be crucial for Archer to provide the breakthroughs not only with the new ball but also at the death.
Jos Buttler(w), Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Sanju Samson, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Ankit Sharma, Jaydev Unadkat, Ish Sodhi, Rahul Tripathi, D Arcy Short, Dhawal Kulkarni, Anureet Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Heinrich Klaasen
Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Krunal Pandya, Jean-Paul Duminy, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Pradeep Sangwan, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Adam Milne
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