The IPL 2017 has presented some scintillating clashes, excellent run chases, majexstic power hitting and deadly bowling. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians are set to clash later on Monday evening in Match no. 38 of the tournament, which promises to be another thrilling encounter.
The match is scheduled to commence at 4:00 P.M. at the Wankhede.The fortunes of both the teams have been highly contrasting. Whereas Mumbai is sitting pretty at the second spot- tied on points with the top ranked KolKata Knight Riders, 2016 IPL finalists are at the bottom rung of the points table.
MI has won 7 of their 9 matches played in the tournament thus far and would like to seal their spot in the play-offs by edging out RCB on Monday.
Overall the two teams have met 22 times and Mumbai holds a win-loss edge of 14-8 agains Royal Challengers Bangalore. Further, Mumbai's recent record too is overwhleming; they have won five of their last six matches against RCB.
Apart from captain Rohit Sharma, every Mumbai player seems to be in imperious form. They are the most settled team this season and have only used 15 players so far, eight of whom have played all of their nine matches.
Youngster Nitish Rana has proved his worth at the top of the order and is one of the leading contenders for the Orange Cap after Sunrisers Hyderabad maverick captain David Warner. Apart from him, Mumbai's wicketkeeper- batsman, the diminutive dynamo Parthiv Patel has played the role of a pinch hitter to perfection and received adequate support from his opening partner Jos Buttler.
In the match against Gujarat Lions, Patel scored a whirlwind 70 runs and played a pivotal role while chasing the score of 153 runs. Kieron Pollard has returned to form in a crushing manner since being criticised by Sanjay Manjrekar for his lacklusture in the first few games of the tournament.
The Pandya brothers have emerged as outright matchwinners and have won games for their side with both the bat and ball. Krunal's spin variations and flighted deliveries have bamboozled opposition batsmen as he is providing good support to senior Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Both Krunal and Hardik are hard hitters, but Hardik's extra pace has emerged as the surprise element of the Mumbai attack. Senior players like Mitchell Mcclenaghan, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh have shouldered their responibilies well and formed vital cogs of MI's success story.
One of the most outstanding players of the team is Indian seamer Jasprit Bumrah. His slower deliveries and yorkers targeting the block hole have made him one of the most lethal bowlers in the slog overs. His super over against Gujarat Lions scripted victory for his team and was also the best one in IPL history.
Pace has played a dominant role in Mumbai's victories as Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah have scalped exactly half (23 out of 46) of the wickets taken by the team.
On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore has only two wins from 10 matches. It is ranked 7th with 7 losses and one match being washed out by rain.
The team seems to be heavily dependent on its top three batsmen, captain Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and West Indian star batsman Chris Gayle. Whereas captain Virat Kohli has performed well, often playing the sheet anchor role, Chris Gayle hasn't been able to fire.
Despite being the first man to reach 10,000 T20 runs, he has been pretty inconsistent of late. AB De Villiers has fired in patches and RCB would except him to crack a special innings in Wankhede, which incidentally is also his quickest-scoring ground in the IPL.
He has made 184 runs off 100 balls at the ground, while being dismissed four times. Another worry for RCB is the inconsistent form of all-rounder Shane Watson. Bowling fuller deliveries, he has been unable to impress with both the bat and ball.
Tymal Mills, bought for a huge price, has disappointed the team management and fans alike by not bowling up to the standards and leaking lots of runs. The only positives for RCB in the bowling department have been the spin twins, Yuzvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree.
Chahal seems to have carried his form from the T20 series against England where he grabbed six wickets in a match to put doubts in the minds of opposition batsmen. Badree picked a hattrick on his IPL debut and since then has strenghtened the RCB bowling attack.
RCB has been unfortunate as its domestic stalwarts too have failed to fire. Top buys like Pawan Negi and Stuart Binny have disappointed apart from Mandeep Singh.
For RCB, every game from now on is a finale and even one defeat can end their journey in the tournament.
Probable XI - Mumbai Indians:
Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma (c), Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
Probable XI - Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Virat Kohli (c), Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Adam Milne, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal.