The clashes between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians have always been riveting ones. Traditionally, the two sides have been arch rivals and believe in getting ahead of one another.
Over the past several seasons, these sides have provided some phenomenal entertainment for the viewers and have always displayed some exhilarating cricket. The two captains, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma believe in an aggressive brand of cricket and match fire for fire. On the 10th of May at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the two sides promise us with complete entertainment.
This game is profusely crucial for both the games. A loss here will have a drastic impact. The men from Bangalore are slightly well placed, as they have one more point than the Mumbai Indians in one game less. However, it will be the hosts who will start as the favourites. The men in blue have struck gold at the box office. After getting off to a shambolic start in IPL 8, they have stormed their way back into the tournament. The Rohit Sharma led side defeated the Chennai Super Kings in a thriller in their own den. This was the first time that any side defeated Chennai at their home since 2013. That should greatly boost the Mumbai Indians.
The two sides first clashed in this IPL on the 19th of April at the Chinnaswamy stadium. The Mumbai Indians were put in to bat, and posted a mammoth total of 209. Lendl Simmons and Unmukt Chand were impeccable and notched up their respective half centuries. But it was skipper Rohit Sharma, who provided the late boost, and scored 42 off 15. The Royal Challengers began in a dismal manner and Chris Gayle looked completely out of sorts. The Royal Challengers were down and out, before AB De Villiers rescued them with a superhero act. He was dismissed for 41 off just 11. A late zealous display from Weise was not good enough as the hosts fell 18 runs short.
This Trinidadian will be the counter for Chris Gayle in the Mumbai Indians. He has been in striking form and if he fires at the top, the hosts are assured of a strong total. Even while chasing, his start will hold the key. Simmons though, needs to be wary of Mitchell Starc.
Whenever it is MI vs RCB game, this man always is the ‘X factor’ for the Mumbai Indians. Bhajji has often bossed Chris Gayle with his canny bowling. He has had the better of the muscular Jamaican on several occasions. To add the icing on the cake, Harbhajan has been in superb form in this IPL. The battle between him and Gayle will dictate the outcome of the match.
Gayle has performed brilliantly on almost every venue in the IPL barring the Wankhede Stadium. His numbers at the Wankhede are not that great. His struggles against Harbhajan Singh are a further source of worry. If he negates Bhajji efficiently, then expect the ‘Gaylestorm’ to destruct the Wankhede stadium.
Starc’s presence has been like a rebirth of this Bangalore side. The men in red have found their momentum back thanks to this Aussie. Starc has just played a handful of games, but has already been among the leading wicket takers. The pitch at Wankhede will assist him greatly. His battle with Rohit Sharma will hold the key.
Malinga might come in for De Lange. It will hard to ignore the South African though.
1. L. Simmons 2. P. Patel 3. R. Sharma 4. A. Rayudu 5. K. Pollard 6. H. Singh 7. H. Pandya 8. J. Suchith 9. R. Vinaykumar 10. L. Malinga/ M. De Lange 11. M. McClaneghan
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:
They too are likely to play with the same 11, which thrashed the Kings XI.
1. C. Gayle 2. V. Kohli 3. AB De Villers 4. M. Singh 5. S. Khan 6. D. Karthik 7. D. Weise 8. M. Starc 9. S. Aravind 10. H. Patel/ V. Aaron 11. Y. Chahal