ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:
With Adam Milne likely to be fit for the clash, one can expect him to replace Abbott.
1. C. Gayle 2. V. Kohli 3. D. Karthik 4. M. Singh 5. AB De Villiers 6. D. Sammy 7. A. Milne 8. H. Patel/I. Abdullah 9. A. Ahmad/ A. Dinda 10. V. Aaron 11. Y. Chahal
The Mumbai Indians might make way for Ojha by leaving Suchith out.
1. L. Simmons 2. P. Patel 3. R. Sharma 4. A. Rayudu 5. C. Anderson 6. K. Pollard 7. H. Singh 8. L. Malinga 9. R. Vinaykumar 10. P. Suyal 11. P. Ojha/J.Suchith
The Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore will battle it out at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on the 19th of April. Both the teams are being led by India’s batting sensations. For Rohit Sharma, this IPL has began on a dismal note. His side lost the first four matches in the previous edition. This time around, they are just one loss away from equaling the unwanted feat. On the other hand, there are enough reasons for Virat Kohli to worry about as well.
Firstly, the Royal Challengers’ bowling looks insipid. Without Mitchell Starc, the Bangalore boys are entirely dependent on their batting to win them the games. Chris Gayle single handedly won them their game against the Knight Riders. But till how long can they rely just on their batting? That remains a serious question. Personally, even Virat Kohli hasn’t got off to the most riveting of starts. He looks out of sorts ever since that World Cup semi final against the Australians.
The water has risen above the throat for the Mumbai Indians. It’s high time that they start winning as miracles will not save them in every edition. Like the hosts, the bowling has been the primary cause of concern for the visitors. Another failure from the bowling unit will dent the hopes of the Mumbai Indians big time.
The two mercurial sides first combated at the Dubai International Stadium on the 19th of April 2014. The Royal Challengers’ bowling was simply too much for the Mumbai Indians. Batting first, the men from Mumbai were restricted to just 115. It was solely because of some fine bowling performances emerging from the Bangalore camp. Zaheer Khan struck early for Mumbai, but that wasn’t enough for them. In the end, the Bangalore side easily won the game with 15 balls to spare. Their batting effort was led by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
The two teams now met at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. That game would always be remembered for an infamous incident that occurred between Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc. Batting first, the hosts raked up an impressive total of 187. Their batting was led by skipper Rohit Sharma who scored 59 off just 35. The visitors began positively but twin strikes from Harbhajan Singh dented their chase. A middle order collapse ensured that Mumbai had an easy victory to its name as they won by 19 runs.
The home skipper must strike form at any cost. He got off to starts in both the games but couldn’t capitalize. It is imperative of the Indian run machine to lead from the front. With the Mumbai bowlers struggling big time, there is a perfect opportunity in store for him.
The man worth Rs. 10.5 cr for the Royal Challengers has been a complete failure so far. In both the games, he has struggled clearly. With an enormous price tag, arises an enormous opportunity. Karthik must understand that and play responsibly. There is no doubt over his talent, but he also needs to justify it.
Sharma has made a massive sacrifice for the team’s sake by batting down the order. It is crucial of him to make that sacrifice count as well. Sharma will have to stick with either Anderson or Pollard till the end and then finish with a bang. He will surely enjoy batting on the Bangalore pitch.
In the last few encounters between these sides, it has been Harbhajan who has tormented Chris Gayle. Bhajji’s strikes at the top of the order will swing the pendulum in the favour of the Mumbai Indians. Bhajji’s individual battle with the Jamaican will have a massive influence on the outcome of the game.