Mumbai Indians may be sitting on top of the table , but two defeats in the last three games coupled with the happenings elsewhere in the tournament, have ensured that they aren’t in a comfortable position just yet. What was supposed to be a race for the top two spots by now has turned into a game of survival. At this stage, they still need two more victories in the last three games to rubber-stamp their playoff berth. And meeting them first-up in this race are Royal Challengers Bangalore, the only team MI haven’t defeated in this tournament.
RCB’s situation isn’t too different from MI. if anything, they are slightly worse-placed in this situation – by a margin of 1.16 on NRR to be precise. That’s too much of a catchup to do, and hence a victory on Wednesday (October 28) becomes all the more critical for the Virat Kohli-led side.
While Royal Challengers Bangalore may have won both their games in Abu Dhabi so far, it is still the den of the defending champions, who have aced the process of notching up 190+ scores. And batting second didn’t get any tougher as they realised in their loss against Rajasthan Royals in the previous game. Even though MI have lost two out of their four games in the tournament at this venue, they have played the dimensions and the pace better than any other team. It is their last chance in the league phase to make the most of the familiar venue.
Mumbai Indians despite playing only 13 players in the tournament so far, will be hindered by the absence of Rohit Sharma. A lot rides on this game for both teams. The ladder of IPL is crowded at the top and both would look to wrestle away to a lonelier place.
When: Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 19:30 IST
Where: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
What to expect: A 190+ total was chased down with 10 balls to spare in the previous game. However, not every team has managed to score as easily at the venue where boundaries have been hard to come by. The pitches at the venue haven’t slowed down like they have in Sharjah and Dubai. The temperature is expected to hover in the late 20s.
Mumbai Indians:The defending champions may have posted photos of Rohit Sharma in the practicing in the nets on their social media handles but the MI skipper is unlikely to feature in the game against RCB. They won’t fiddle with the XI.
Likely XI: 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: Even if not for the dismal performance in their previous game against CSK, RCB are likely to make a condition-specific changes. Isuru Udana and Shivam Dube could return to the XI – similar to the team that played against KKR at the venue last week.
Likely XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Gurkeerat Singh, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Did you know?
– MI and RCB have lost the fewest wickets, have the highest scoring rate and the best ball per boundary ratio.
– In Abu Dhabi, Mumbai Indians have averaged 187 while batting first while other teams have averaged only 151.
– While playing for RCB, AB de Villiers has averaged 56.27 in 17 matches against Mumbai Indians, at a strike rate of 152.46
What they said:
“We’re very happy and still very clear. There is nothing we’ve to change drastically. Just for one day the opposition played better than you. You just say ‘well played’ and move forward.” Jasprit Bumrah, the Mumbai Indians pacer, believes there isn’t a reason to fret after the loss against Rajasthan Royals.
“You have to be prepared on a given day to do well. All sides have good players, it’s about how you come out onto the park on that particular day. We are playing really good cricket and you have to accept you will lose games here and there.” – Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper, didn’t sound worried either after their loss to CSK in the previous game.