Royal Challengers Bangalore finally have a win against their name and they will now run into a side that knows a thing or two about going on winning streaks when the odds are completely against them. Mumbai Indians are notorious for starting their seasons slowly – but when they do get going, few can stand against them.
In 2015, MI started their season with 4 defeats but went on to win the title. In 2014, they lost five of their matches in the UAE leg but then put together a streak that helped them reach the play-offs before losing to Chennai Super Kings in the eliminator.
RCB remain a team that is heavily reliant on Kohli and AB de Villiers and both would be keen to recreate their magic in front of a capacity crowd in Mumbai, on a day when the Indian team for the upcoming World Cup is scheduled to be picked.
Despite the win against KXIP, RCB remain at the bottom of the points table and have to win all their remaining league games to have any hopes of progressing in the tournament. MI have shown that it can be done before and now RCB will seek inspiration from their opponents.
Apart from Kohli (270 runs from 7 matches) and ABD (232 runs from 7 matches), RCB’s other strength has been the pint-sized wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel.
Despite his father being in the ICU, Patel has shown commitment and amassed 191 runs in seven games.
However, the likes of Akshdeep Nath, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stonis and Colin De Grandhomme should score heavily.
On the bowling front, RCB’s biggest asset has been Yuzvendra Chahal, who has so far claimed 11 scalps. Chahal would be key player on a slow Wankhede track and has the potential to dismantle Mumbai’s strong batting line up.
But he would need support from Mohammed Siraj (6 wickets), Navdeep Saini (4 wickets), Moeen (3 wickets) and a profligate Umesh Yadav (2 wickets). The arrival of veteran South Africa pace Dale Steyn is also a massive boost for RCB.
MI batters need to be consistent
On the other hand, after suffering a four wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai would be aiming to get back to winning ways.
The good sign for them is that skipper Rohit Sharma (165 runs), who made a comeback after missing out a game due to injury and South African Quinton De Kock (238 runs), have got runs under their belt along with Hardik Pandya.
The others Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav (154 runs), Kieron Pollard (185 runs) and Krunal Pandya (92 runs) need to be consistent with the bat.
The bowlers would want to forget the hammering by Englishman Jos Buttler and produce a better performance against a team they have dominated in recent times. In 24 matches, Mumbai Indians have 15 as against 9 by Royal Challengers Bangalore. In Mumbai since 2013, the dominance is even more clearer – 5 wins in 6 matches.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Alzarri Joseph, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Ankul Roy, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee and Dale Steyn.
Match starts at 8 PM.