The struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore will be meeting the strong and in-form Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Playing in the opposition home ground generally doesn’t give a good feeling, especially when you are virtually out of the tournament and are reeling with shoddy performances.
Their last five contest has seen them win only once and lose thrice with one match forced to be abandoned. At one stage, a massive turnaround was being expected from the Bangalore side, similar to what happened last year after the midway portion in the league stages. Unfortunately, this season has seen no miracles happen from them.
The upcoming match will perhaps be RCB’s final attempt at staying alive in the tournament. A loss obviously means the end of the road for the last year’s finalists.
Overall, the two teams have come face to face 22 times in the past. Mumbai Indians holds the edge over the RCB, as the latter side has lost 14 times and won only eight times.
Mumbai Indians scripted one of the most dramatic ‘come from behind’ victory when they beat RCB by four wickets after being brought down to the knees by Samuel Badree’s hattrick. Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya put up a 93-run sixth-wicket partnership to galvanise the chase of 142 and snatch a famous win.
MI: W, W, W, L, W
RCB: W, L, A, L, L
Can RCB really chase? What has happened to the star-studded batting line-up? Is RCB too dependent on Kohli?
These are only a few of the bucket full of question RCB fans have in their mind at the moment. There are no talking points to discuss; only worries to be bothered about. AB de Villiers is silent since the last five matches after hitting a fifty in his first IPL game. Kohli regained form only in the last game. Gayle is also in search of some consistency.
Ironically, their bowling, which was underrated, has been the strong point.
Coming to the bigger picture. The qualification scenario seems fantasy at the moment. They need to win all the remainder of the four games. When this requirement gets ticked; they will have to and wait for the top three teams to face heavy losses.
Points, NRR and luck factors would come to play making things complicated and exciting at the same time. RCB would be able to take the fourth place only if the Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI Punjab – the two teams at the 4th, 5th and the 6th position- get cursed badly by some voodoo freak.
The underperforming Mandeep Singh could sit out for another game, making way for Sachin Baby who was included as the Singh’s replacement. Also, when the batting stocks are depreciated why not infuse it with younger names like Harpreet Singh, the Madhya Pradesh batting all-rounder.
Stuart Binny has used his opportunities and has not been that effective. Chris Gayle, who was dropped from the Playing Xi in the previous game, may come back.
Here is the XI: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (Wk), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, S Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tymal Mills