While RCB have just one win under their belt after three games, defending champions MI are yet to get off the mark. © BCCI
This April, apart from access to fresh Alphonso mangoes, there has been very little good that has come Mumbai Indians’ way. Three last ball/wicket defeats later, the morale isn’t as good as they would’ve liked. Kieron Pollard makes his own desperate request to the scribes, “If you guys have any idea to tell us how to get over the line… if it happens again, give us an idea of what to do.”
With one week gone and no victories to boot, it has reached a point where he can no longer go on the chants of ‘processes’ and ‘learning’.
But such has been the manner of the defeats that it has given Mumbai Indians some hope to cuddle with. And that hope is what keeps them going. Or as Pollard adds, “If we were down right now, we should be home.”
The thing is every player who has featured in all the three games has made a handy contribution with the bat, ball or in the field at some point in the tournament. Skipper Rohit Sharma has been a sole exception in that regard. And unless he gets firing quickly, it will be difficult for him to inspire his side in this flood of close losses.
The good thing for them, however, is that they are up against Royal Challengers Bangalore, who even in their 11th season are trying to figure out what is going wrong with them. Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have scored fifties, Quinton de Kock is in good form, so are the spinners, and the pacers have chipped in too. Yet, there are holes that are opening up time and again. Their perpetual state of underachieving seems to have become a dear comforter, a part of their travel kit, a brand of their cricket, something which (doesn’t) gets them going.
It has been a contrastingly different tale for the opposite captains. Just as Rohit Sharma has seen more IPL success than anyone else, Virat Kohli has seen none.In 10 years, the trophy has teasingly evaded him. But such is the strength of their current squad that on paper they can replace seven to eight of their regulars and still have as good a XI featuring for them. There is no dearth of individual reputation, something that RCB has rarely faced – spare the horrors of their first season picks – but like always, they have come up below par as a collective unit.
It has been a busy week for the two sides. A day ahead of the game, Mumbai Indians gave their fringe players considerable time in the nets and RCB decided to take rest. Maintaining the fatigue level will be the key and to ensure that undesired results don’t wear them out mentally. Both would desperately need a win on Tuesday to get going.
When: April 17, 2018 at 8pm IST
Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
What to expect: Temperature should be around 35 degrees Celsius. There should be a bit of breeze early on in the match.
Mumbai Indians Likely XI: Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman
Royal Challengers Bangalore Likely XI: Quinton de Kock, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Corey Anderson/Colin de Grandhomme, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, Kulwant Khejroliya, Yuzvendra Chahal
Head to Head of teams
MI 13 – 8 RCB
Team Record at that Wankhede
MI 4 – 3 RCB
AB de Villiers vs Krunal Pandya: AB has been dismissed by Krunal in all the four innings he played against him. He has managed to score 33 runs off 34 balls from Krunal.
Kohli vs McClenaghan: McClenaghan has managed to get the better of Kohli on four instances in six exchanges including last three times on the trot. Kohli managed to score only 19 runs off 29 balls from the lefr-arm seamer.
Pollard vs Chahal: Pollard has managed to score 45 runs off Chahal at a strike rate of 150 but has been dismissed by the tweaker thrice in 30 balls. Pollard has enjoyed playing against RCB scoring 450 runs – the most for him against an opponent (SR 166.67).
Virat Kohli needs 49 more runs to become the first player to score 5000 runs for a team in 20-overs cricket. He has 4951 runs from 158 innings for RCB at 37.50 (SR 131.53).
Umesh Yadav needs four more wickets to become the fifth Indian pacer to take 100 wickets in IPL. He doesn’t have a good record against MI, having taken only eight wickets from 11 games.
MI has won four of the five head to contests between the two sides at the Wankhede since 2013.
RCB’s 235/1 in 2015 is the highest total at the Wankhede in all T20 cricket.