IPL 2020 Match 48 Preview: MI vs RCB - Rohit Sharma's fitness in focus in Mumbai-Bangalore race to playoffs
Although 16 points may not guarantee a playoff berth mathematically, for all practical purposes, the side winning the match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will qualify.
Suspense over Rohit's fitness
Rohit Sharma was left out of all the three formats for the India tour of Australia, starting late November this year. The selection committee said that they would be monitoring the fitness of Rohit, alongside another injured player Ishant Sharma.
However, when Mumbai Indians uploaded a couple of videos of Rohit Sharma back to training in the nets on Twitter, it sparked controversy over transparency in selection. As per Mumbai's official line, Rohit suffered a strain in his left hamstring.
But since he was seen in training and batted quite freely, one can only wonder why he was left out of the Indian squad. The ghost of Yo Yo test perhaps! Anyway, it might still be one or two games before we see Rohit in the blues; Mumbai Indians blues for the moment.
Mumbai have a settled XI
If Rohit does not return, Kieron Pollard, who has done a fine job for them till now despite losing the last match to Rajasthan Royals, will continue to lead the side. Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock, who have been great at the top of the order, will open the innings with Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary following them.
Hardik Pandya made an explosive half-century in the last match and showed why he is worth being in the playing XI despite the all-rounder not bowling at the moment.
James Pattinson, who was brought back into the side in place of Nathan Coulter-Nile in the last match, will retain his place as Mumbai are expected to go in with an unchanged team.
Both teams coming off losses
Like Mumbai, Royal Challengers Bangalore also suffered a defeat in their last match at the hands of Chennai Super Kings.
It was their batting which troubled them, with the team never being able to get the the flurry of boundaries towards the end which they hoped.
Udana likely to be back for RCB
They would not be too worried with the defeat as the team is still well placed at the second spot in the points table with 7 wins from 11 matches. A victory in this game will all but seal playoff qualification for the side.
Moeen Ali was brought into the playing XI in the last match in place of Isuru Udana. He failed to impress and the Sri Lankan all-rounder is likely to return for this game.
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, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(wk), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Moeen Ali/Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
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