04.00pm local time (10:30pm GMT), April 14, 2017
Last match they saw their superhero return to action. For this match, their captain fantastic returns. That gives the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fans every reason to believe that their actual IPL season kick starts today. A line up with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in it is even more intimidating on the field than it is on paper. What it also highlights is the over dependence RCB have had on these two for a number of years now and the Mumbai Indians (MI) will be hoping that their star studded bowling attack can get them out early.
Mumbai have found an unlikely hero in Nitish Rana who wasn’t even a certainty in the playing XI had it not been for Ambati Rayudu’s injury. They have also found reliable performers in the form of the Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal, who have made major contributions with ball and bat respectively. What they will desperately be hoping for is to see captain Rohit Sharma back in the runs. Harbhajan Singh’s bowling performance against Hyderabad, where he picked up two wickets for just 23 runs would also please the management.
For RCB, stand-in skipper Shane Watson accepted the fact that he had a role to play in their defeat against Punjab and with Chris Gayle and Travis Head breathing down his neck, it remains to be seen if Watson makes it to the playing XI. Had it not been for de Villiers’ 89* in their last game, RCB might have struggled to post a substantial total on the board. Their bowling too hasn’t looked really threatening apart from the odd over from Tymal Mills and Billy Stanlake. The only consistent performer in the bowling attack remains Yuzvendra Chahal.
RCB – LWLLW
MI - WWLLW
Watson’s indifferent form might see Chris Gayle coming in to replace him. That would only mean that the bowling workload will fall more on the shoulders of Stuart Binny and Pawan Negi. Virat Kohli should replace Vishnu Vinod, which means Kedar Jadhav will take over the gloves.
RCB – 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Virat Kohli (c ), 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Kedar Jadhav (wk), 5 Mandeep Singh, 6 Stuart Binny, 7 Pawan Negi, 8 Iqbal Abdulla, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Tymal Mills, 11 Billy Stanlake
Mitchell McClenaghan has been expensive so far in the tournament and could make way for Mitchell Johnson. Asela Gunaratne could also be given a chance at the expense of the out of form Kieron Pollard.
MI– 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Rohit Sharma (c ), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Kieron Pollard/ Asela Gunarate, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Jasprit Bumrah