PROBABLE XI: XI
The Royals are likely to retain the same eleven, provided Watson is still unfit.
1. A. Rahane 2. S. Samson 3. S. Smith 4. K. Nair 5. D. Hooda 6. J. Faulkner 7. S. Binny 8. T. Southee 9. C. Morris 10. D. Kulkarni 11. P. Tambe
Mumbai Indians XI:
J.Suchith, the slow left arm bowler performed well against the Kings XI. So he can be expected to play against the Royals as well.
1. R. Sharma 2. A. Finch/Lendl Simmons 3. A. Tare 4. A. Rayudu 5. K. Pollard 6. C. Anderson 7. H. Singh 8. J. Suchith 9. L. Malinga 10. P. Suyal 11. R. Vinaykumar
The game to be played on the 14th of April 2015 at the Sardar Patel Stadium is between two sides, who are on the extreme poles of the points table. After playing two games, the Rajasthan Royals have done everything right. Their batting, amplified by the presence of several all rounders has taken them to reasonably high totals in the two games. Along with their batting, their accurate bowling has come to the party as well. The likes of Southee, Morris, Faulkner and Tambe have been great for the Royals so far. But the most promising and positive aspect for the Royals has been the emergence of an unknown commodity. The commodity is none other than the under 19 sensation Deepak Hooda. In the two games, Hooda has scored 84 runs, with a strike rate of more than 200. Talk about promising talent, you wouldn’t find anyone better.
The Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians have been miserable to say the least. In their previous home outing against the Kings XI Punjab, they were all set to be thrashed heavily. But a valiant effort from Harbhajan Singh averted the humiliating thrashing. Rohit Sharma, has been the main stay for the Mumbai Indians. Like his international form, he blows hot and cold in the IPL. A classic 98* was followed by a duck against the Kings XI. Concerns linger around Aaron Finch as well. Another failure today could mean his exit for the next few games atleast.
The two sides first met on the 19th of May 2014 at Ahmedabad. Batting first, the Mumbai openers Mike Hussey and Lendl Simmons set up a strong foundation for the men in blue. The duo added 120 for the first wicket in just 14.3 overs. The Mumbai side managed to get to a healthy 178-3 in their 20 overs. The Royals never looked to be in the game and surrendered meekly. The Royals were 75-7, when a late surge from Brad Hodge managed to take them to 153. But that was it! Mumbai easily won that game!
The second outing between these sides of the 2014 IPL can easily be termed as the craziest IPL game till date. It was played on the 25th of May 2014 and was the last league match. The Mumbai Indians needed to win the game, and win in such a condition that their net run rate would have to be better than the Royals. Even a defeat for the Royals would have done the trick, but a close one. Batting first, the Royals amassed a mammoth 189, thanks to some great show by the talented Indian duo of Karun Nair and Sanju Samson. The Mumbai Indians needed 190, but off 14.3 overs! The Mumbai batsmen looked sensational from the offset, led by the Kiwi Corey Anderson. With the scores tied in 14.3 overs, the Mumbai Indians needed a boundary on the very next ball to qualify. In walked Aditya Tare, facing his first ball. And he hit that one for a big six over fine leg off a James Faulkner full toss!
The Kiwi all rounder would want to repeat his heroics of the 2014 edition. Till now, he has been criminally underutilized by the Mumbai Indians. His bowling needs to be trusted, as he has done immensely well for his national side. There is not even a single doubt about his batting.
The veteran was simply at his best against the Kings XI the other night. His bowling looks evergreen, as he is willing to flight the ball. He has been economical and been among the wickets as well. But it is his hard hitting batting which is a bonus. If he continues to bat for Mumbai in the same manner, then a massive headache for the Mumbai Indians would be gone.
It is a delight for every cricket lover to watch Samson bat. But somewhere down the line, Samson has not lived up to the expectations. He is highly inconsistent and that hurts his chances big time. He often follows a very good with an odd 10 or 20. Samson has not scored the runs in this edition so far. Expect him to do well against the Mumbai Indians.
He is the most important member of the Rajasthan outfit. His performance with the bat and with the ball dictates success for the Royals. His consistency with the bat is never under question. But Faulkner would have to bowl well at the death as well.