What do we say about these two teams? Both have played 7 matches thus far and both have only managed 2 wins, with Royal Challengers Bangalore occupying the 7th spot on the points table, and Mumbai Indians on 6th, due to a higher Net Run Rate. However, we both know deep inside that Mumbai is a much better team than Bangalore.
IPL 2018 has not started well for either team but this is one game that both teams will consider extremely vital, if they want to progress to the playoffs this season. The last time these two met a couple of weeks back, Mumbai smashed 213 and completed a comfortable win against RCB, where only Virat Kohli stood up and scored runs.
The Indian Premier League has always been about great comebacks, but it seems impossible for both at this point of time. For RCB, only two batsmen have consistently performed – Kohli and AB de Villiers. In the last game, they were dealt a major blow with ABD being dropped due to illness. His return to the team will be an immediate 20% boost to their chances of winning this match. It’s good to see Mandeep Singh and QdK among the runs as well but Qdk will need to convert his starts into a bigger score.
Now Mumbai have looked good with both bat and ball, and would’ve probably won more games as they had far too many last over losses. After that win in their last game against Chennai, I don’t expect any changes in the team but I would like to see Rohit Sharma move back up to open the innings with Evin Lewis, now that he looks in good touch. Similarly, it would be nice to see Kohli open for RCB as you always want your best batsmen to play the most deliveries.
Krunal Pandya has the ability to make this game for Mumbai. He picked up 3/28 in the last game against RCB and if ABD plays, he will be wary of Krunal, as the left-arm spinner has dismissed him four times so far in the Indian Premier League. Similarly, McClenaghan has made a bunny of Kohli, having dismissed him 4 times in the IPL. The Chinnaswamy pitch seems slightly slower so Mustafizur Rahman may be brought back in. Overall, RCB have many more holes to plug than Mumbai do.
The head to head count between these two in the Indian Premier League is 14-8 in Mumbai’s favour, and Mumbai have also won 5 out of 5 of their last meetings. Kohli scored 92* in the reverse fixture and I expect him to keep scoring as he is up against India’s limited overs vice-captain, Rohit Sharma. All the signs point towards an MI win but I’m going to be a strong fan and predict an RCB win!
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