Three matches, three final over finishes and three losses - that pretty much sums up how the Mumbai Indians have fared in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) so far. On two occasions, they were undone by the sheer batting brilliance of Dwayne Bravo and Jason Roy while a tail ender, with hardly any batting credentials, denied them victory in one of their matches.
They will look to perform the finishing rights better when they take on a battered a Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who were humbled in their own den in their last match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). The top-heavy batting of both sides would mean that the discipline and the efforts of the bowlers will determine which side comes out on top.
Mumbai’s decision to give Suryakumar Yadav a shot at the opening slot worked wonders and it is something they could persist with should Rohit find his comfort zone in the middle order. The evolution of Ishan Kishan is heartening to see and how much his game has improved since last season.
Hardik Pandya went for 32 off his two overs in the previous game while Mayank Markrande and Akila Dananjaya conceded 89 runs off seven overs between them. While Markrande has had a good start to the season, Dananjaya might as well make way for Mitchell McClenaghan.
RCB’s stories have been well documented over the past few seasons and their previous fixture was no different. Their big guns did get them off to a rapid start but succumbed to the pressure of a mounting required run rate. Once the big four got out, the match had slipped out of their hands.
The fact that Umesh Yadav, who had been their best bowler of the season so far, went for 59 off his four overs made matters worse for them. In fact, it was his 27-run final over which decided the game. A better bowling attack could give MI the edge over RCB to go along with the fact that they have won the last four matches these two have played against each other. It will require something special from the RCB bowlers to prevent MI from turning their fortunes around!
Mitchell McClenaghan could come in for Akila Dananjaya.
Mumbai Indians - Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Mustafizur Rahman, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan/ Akila Dananjaya, Mayank Markrande
Mohammed Siraj could come in for Kulwant Khejroliya.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, , Mandeep Singh, Pawan Negi, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kulwant Khejroliya/ Mohammed Siraj
April 17, 2018
IST Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
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