The battle with fire for Rajasthan against Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians to win
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||10||7||3||0||0||14||0.182|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||11||6||5||0||0||12||-0.476|
|Kings XI Punjab||11||5||6||0||0||10||-0.103|
|Chennai Super Kings||11||3||8||0||0||6||-0.733|
It is the 45th game of the Indian Premier League and the Rajasthan Royals would be taking on the table toppers Mumbai Indians in what is a must-win game for them. Rajasthan has lost the last three out of four games including the last one against the Sunrisers and currently sit at the 7th spot on the points table. One more loss would prevent their qualification into the next round. As for Mumbai Indians, they are coming into this game with a massive win under their belt.
Mumbai Indians have truly played like the defending champions and have seen several one-sided victories this season. They have a batting order that is destroying opposition attacks and bowling unit delivering in most games. It would be battle against big odds for the Rajasthan Royals but they have had an impressive record against Mumbai and it will be interesting to see if they are able to maintain that in the next game.
It is the last chance for Steven Smith’s side to remain in the hunt for the playoffs after losing the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets. They are currently placed 7th on the points table and need to pull up their socks to win this game. It was a poor show from their middle order and their bowlers after the top order had laid a good platform against Sunrisers. The side has a good record against Mumbai Indians and they will look to draw inspiration from those victories.
Their top order did well in the last game and the side would like to see a good start from Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa in this game. Sanju Samson’s return to form is important for the side as he along with Jos Buttler and Smith will have to play fast paced knocks against a strong bowling attack that Mumbai Indians have. In Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia the side has good stroke makers down the order.
Jofra Archer has bowled with lot of heart this season but in most games he has been short of support from other bowlers. He will need good support with the new ball from Ankit Rajpoot and Kartik Tyagi here given Mumbai’s dominating batting line-up. Stokes along with Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal will have to focus on bowling tight spells against Mumbai’s in-form batting line-up.
Best Batsman – Steven Smith
Best Bowler – Jofra Archer
Steven Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson (wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Kartik Tyagi
Steven Smith, AS Rajpoot, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, RV Uthappa, R Tewatia, S Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, Riyan Parag
The defending champions are going strong and despite the absence of skipper Rohit Sharma they won by 10 wickets in the last game against Chennai Super Kings. The side has already earned a place in the playoffs and Rohit who is likely to make a comeback in this game shall be looking to make it two wins against Rajasthan this season having not won a game against them in the last two editions.
Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock would look to continue with their form in the next game and offer a great start. Ishan Kishan would be confident after his big knock in the last game and along with Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya makes this batting line-up strong in the middle. Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya have good hitting abilities and they shall look to make the most out of it in the next game.
Trent Boult has returned to form and this is great news for the side. He along with Jasprit Bumrah shall look to exploit the weakness that Rajasthan Royals’ batting has shown so far. Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar have done well so far in the tournament. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pollard add depth to this bowing attack.
Top Batsman – Rohit Sharma
Top Bowler – Jasprit Bumrah
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
|Q de Kock||46||37||5||2||124.32|
James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, SS Tiwary, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, SA Yadav
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||26||0 mm.||6.49 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|03h||27||0 mm.||4.73 k/h||From: E||0%|
|06h||29||0 mm.||5.92 k/h||From: SE||0%|
|09h||32||0 mm.||1.33 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|12h||30||0 mm.||7.73 k/h||From: N||0%|
|15h||29||0 mm.||7.8 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|18h||28||0 mm.||6.25 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|21h||27||0 mm.||4.61 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
The conditions at Abu Dhabi on October 23 would be hot and humid. The pitch has true bounce and pace though there is the odd ball from the spinners that can take sharp turn here. Overall it is a surface where batsmen would enjoy batting and a score of 180 runs or more should have the side batting first feel comfortable.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi’s pitch has been batsmen friendly as the true bounce and pace on the surface allows the batsmen to play their strokes freely. However the relatively large size of the ground also creates opportunities for catches in the outfield. Fast bowlers need to vary their line on this tricky surface while the slowness on the surface offers assistance to the spinners.
In the last five games the sides that have chased the score have gone on to win four games. The evening dew has made it tough for the spinners to grip the ball in the second innings. The pitch is a good one to bat on in both the innings. The side that wins the toss in this game is most likely to invite the opponents to bat first.
Rajasthan Royals are coming into this game under pressure. They still haven’t seen their batsmen fire as a unit in the tournament which has led them to lose several close games. Their bowlers too aren’t looking in the best of form at the moment. Mumbai Indians on the other hand have got all the bases covered and have a batting line-up that is expressing itself well. This would make them favorites to win this game and book their spot in the playoffs.
Mumbai Indians to win