RCB vs MI : Preview

Build up to the fixture

The IPL has already gone a little over the mid-way through the tournament with 30 interesting matches being already concluded. In the 31st match of the season, two of the powerpack sides -RCB and MI are locking horns at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, the home ground of the Red Army. Both the teams stack off at the bottom half of the table with only 2 wins from the 7 games, with Mumbai marginally ahead on account of their better NRR.Both teams are in a situation, where they would have never liked to be.They cannot afford to lose many games from now and count every game as a knockout.Both the team have had some issues but at this stage, RCB looks like a team which has bigger voids to fill.

Mumbai won their last game while RCB lost theirs, but both teams were able to lessen their issues by bringing in some crucial changes in the playing XI. While Mumbai’s stroke of bringing in JP Duminy for Kieron Pollard was appreciable, RCB added much-needed strength to their bowling line-up by the inclusion of Time Southee.

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The inclusion of JP Duminy hasn’t been tested yet as Mumbai won their game by eight wickets and JP didn’t bowl at all in the match. Tim Southee’s inclusion helped RCB to have some control in the game as he disturbed Brendon McCullum and Quinton De Cock in the powerplay.

 

Centre of the news
AB De Villiers was forced to sit out on the bench in the last match due to a viral fever. His exclusion was unfortunate for RCB as the team couldn’t pile up a good total, getting restricted for a meager 175.So, RCB might be hoping for the Mr. 360 to return to the playing XI in a giant clash against the defending champions.

Possible changes
Mumbai would prefer to bring Mustafizur Rahman back in the XI and bolster their bowling and especially considering the sluggish Bangalore pitch, his cutters, and slow deliveries might cause a problem to the power-packed RCB batting lineup.
RCB might want to tuck in ABD Villiers who, as always has been phenomenal for them. They might also want to include Kulwant Khejroliya for Md Siraj who has played more games than Siraj and also has had a nick over him in the bowling.

Possible Lineups
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Quinton de Kock (wk), Virat Kohli (capt), AB de Villiers, Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, M Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kulwant Khejrolliya

Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma (capt), Ishan Kishan (wk), JP Duminy, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah

Prediction
While both the teams have not been to their level best, MI seems to the one who has an upper hand in this contest, having a much needed winning momentum of 1 game.Moreover, The depth in the Mumbai batting looks better than RCB who rely high upon their superstars. The death bowling of MI has also been better than RCB though MI have lost some games in the death. Whatever the result is, one cannot be assured of witnessing a crack of a battle between the two sides.


By Nirajan Basnet

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