After successive defeats in their first 6 games of the season, RCB finally returned to winning ways against Punjab in their last game.
They would hope to notch up another win against Mumbai to launch a desperate bid to write a Cinderella story and make the playoffs.
With the IPL league stage past its halfway stage, teams now have a fair grasp of their performers and the top 4 are slowly beginning to take shape, though it is still anybody’s game. As we approach the business end of the tournament, Monday’s match sees the Mumbai Indians welcome bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore to the Wankhede. After successive defeats in their first 6 games of the season, RCB finally returned to winning ways against Punjab in their last game. They would hope to notch up another win against Mumbai to launch a desperate bid to write a Cinderella story and make the playoffs. Mumbai meanwhile, stands 3rd in the table with 4 wins from 7 games. They would hope to complete a double this season over RCB, and make their case stronger and move on par with Delhi Capitals on 10 points after tonight’s match is done.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 15, 2019
Mumbai has had quite a topsy-turvy season this far, like several other teams, underlining the evenness of this competition. Mumbai, though, would like to build some stability into their form if they want to create some difference between the rest, much like Chennai Super Kings have done, and this match provides that opportunity. Rohit Sharma would mostly be coming back into the team after a short injury layoff and would look to provide a solid start with Quinton de Kock, to set the stage for Mumbai’s big-hitting middle order with the Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard. Jasprit Bumrah, who was Man of the Match in the last encounter between the two teams, would continue his seaming duties, along with Jason Behrendorff and Lasith Malinga, who is expected to make a comeback into the squad in place of injured Alzarri Joseph.
Also Read: The Fantasy Guide for this match
After a disastrous start to their campaign, RCB finally managed to win a match in IPL 2019, chasing down Kings XI’s score in the final over in spite of Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 99. RCB’s successful chase came due to the efforts of the usual suspects, captain Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers, without whom the batting just does not perform. Over-dependence on the two players has been a massive concern for RCB, who would hope that someone steps up to the plate in case the duo fails to fire. In the bowling department, similarly, Yuzi Chahal and Navdeep Saini have been the key players, with the remaining error-prone and expensive. RCB would hope that they put in a team performance instead of depending on a few players if they are to have any chance left in the tournament.
Here are a few key player battles to look out for in this match:
Virat Kohli vs Jasprit Bumrah
The lip-smacking encounter of the best batsman in the world facing the best bowler in the world, that was encashed on even by the IPL in their pre-tournament advertisements, is obviously going to make the list of key player battles. Unsurprisingly, both have been the best performers for their respective teams; however, both are capable of more. Kohli has scored 270 runs in 7 innings averaging almost 39, while Bumrah has taken 8 wickets in his 7 games at a measly economy of 7 runs per over. In the last match, the right-armer dismissed the Indian captain after the latter was batting fluently on 46. The dismissal proved to be the game-changer as Kohli’s crucial partnership with De Villiers was broken, giving Mumbai a chance to punch their way back into the game. Mumbai fans would be hoping for an encore on Monday, and this player battle could potentially determine the match.
AB De Villers vs Krunal Pandya
Kohli’s permanent partner in notable RCB innings has been the South African talisman. De Villiers was Bangalore’s last hope in their previous game against Mumbai, scoring a valiant unbeaten 70 but ultimately coming up short as RCB lost by 6 runs. De Villiers would be looking to making amends on Monday, and add to his 232 tournament runs in the process. However, a particular bowler’s history against De Villiers would surely excite Mumbai fans, and that is Krunal Pandya. The Mumbai Indians spinner has dismissed De Villiers four times in the marquee T20 league so far.
Quinton De Kock vs Yuzvendra Chahal
Quinton De Kock has been the rock at the top of the Mumbai innings, providing the team the starts they require, and his partnership with skipper Rohit Sharma has been vital. With 238 runs in 7 games at a strike rate of 136, De Kock’s temperament would go a long way in providing Mumbai the stage to capitalize on. His main nemesis in the Bangalore team would be leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, who castled him for 23 in their last encounter. Chahal has been RCB’s key bowler with an impressive haul of 11 wickets thus far at a miserly economy of 7.07. Yuzi would look to make his bid for the Purple Cap stronger against Mumbai, and one of his key targets would be keeper-batsman De Kock. This is surely one player battle to watch out for.