IPL 2020 Match 45 Preview: RR vs MI - Mumbai aim to qualify for playoffs as Rajasthan try to avert elimination
With a thumping 10-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians regained the top place in IPL 2020 and would want to ensure a playoff spot with a victory against Rajasthan.
Mumbai climb atop
Mumbai were placed at the third spot before their last match against Chennai but a massive victory not only helped them get two valuable points, which has put them at par with the second and third placed Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively, but also take their net run rate to + 1.48, which pummeled them to the top of the leaderboard.
Even in the absence of skipper Rohit Sharma, Mumbai did not look one bit vulnerable as Kieron Pollard took on the role almost seamlessly.
Mumbai's fierce new ball attack
The game was set up by Mumbai's new ball bowlers Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah. Boult ended with figures of 4-1-18-4 and was awarded the Man of the Match. Jasprit Bumrah also picked up two valuable wickets within the powerplay.
With Chennai losing half their team within the first six overs, it was no coming back for them. All Mumbai bowlers bowled well with two wickets for spinner Rahul Chahar as well.
Ishan Kishan fills Rohit's void
The modest 115-run chase was done and dusted with more than seven overs to spare as Ishan Kishan was promoted to open the batting for Mumbai in the absence of regular opener and captain Rohit Sharma. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and remained unbeaten on 68 off 37 balls, batting at a strike rate of over 180 to take the team home. Quinton de Kock batted sensibly and struck 46 off 37 deliveries.
Sharma to miss couple more games
Rohit Sharma has suffered a left hamstring strain and is not expected to be back for this match. And, what's the need when everything for MI seems to be in autopilot.
Tough ask for RR
Rajasthan will need to play out of their skin in order to have a chance of beating MI. RR suffered an 8-wicket defeat in their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Buttler should open
The Rajasthan bowling has been doing a mighty fine job, with Jofra Archer leading the attack. But, their batting has not been able to fire consistently.
It makes more sense for Rajasthan to slot back Jos Buttler at the top of the order as Ben Stokes is a better middle order batsman, seven days of the week.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Mumbai Indians (MI): Quinton de Kock(wk), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard(c), Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile/James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson (wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Kartik Tyagi
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