IPL 2020 Match 20 Preview: MI vs RR - With momentum on their side, Mumbai expected to ease past Rajasthan
The IPL points table is so dynamic, especially at the early stages of the tournament, that Mumbai Indians, who were struggling to get going at one point, are now sitting atop the points table with three wins and two losses from five games.
Mumbai look settled
Mumbai Indians coasted to a victory in their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, getting over the line by a comfortable margin of 31 runs to bag two more crucial points. Quinton de Kock, who hadn't fired till now, went big in the afternoon game at Sharjah on Sunday with a 39-ball 67. He struck 44 off 74 balls, blasting runs at a strike rate of over 170.
With small but important contributions from other batsmen, Mumbai were successful in bludgeoning more than 200 runs from their 20 overs.
Krunal Pandya had a big contribution to make as he faced just four deliveries but made full use of it, getting the ball past the ropes and over them twice each as he scored 20 runs off just for four deliveries. Talk about a match getting won and lost in a couple of deliveries!
Boult and Pattinson delivering for MI
Their new ball combination of Trent Boult and James Pattinson, both of whom are new recruits with Boult coming in from Delhi Capitals and James Pattinson getting a late call because of the absence of Lasith Malinga, have done a commendable job for Mumbai. Both bowled at around 7 RPO, taking two wickets each from their four overs.
Jasprit Bumrah was a bit expensive but pickded up two crucial wickets towards the end which prevented the Hyderabad onslaught from kicking off.
Hardik to bowl at some point
All in all, Mumbai find themselves in a good position after five matches. Both head coach Mahela Jayawardene and bowling coach Zaheer Khan have said that Hardik Pandya will bowl for Mumbai shortly. The team would expect him to be back in his genuine all-rounder's role in the game against Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan lose form
After starting the tournament well with back-to-back victories, Rajasthan Royals have been pushed back a bit will losses in their last two matches.
It is not only the losses but their manner which would hurt Rajasthan. While they suffered a 37-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in their third match, the team surrendered against Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 wickets.
Buttler due for a big one
Jos Buttler has not fired at the top for Rajasthan and they would desperately want him to get going.
The bowling led by Jofra Archer has done a fine job. Rajasthan will consider replacing Jaydev Unadkat, who hasn't had an impact in the tournament till now, with either of Varun Aaron or Ankit Rajpoot.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Rajasthan Royals (RR) - Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Smith (c), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Mahipal Lomror, Yashasvi Jaiswal/Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Tom Curran, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat/Varun Aaron/Ankit Rajpoot
Mumbai Indians (MI) - Quinton de Kock(wk), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
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