The tournament is slowly picking up pace. Teams are in the quest to find the right combination and momentum to surge ahead. The tournament has now moved to Ahmedabad and Delhi leg.
MI’s unfamiliar sluggishness:
Mumbai Indians played their first 5 games at the Chepauk, Chennai. They seem to have mastered the art of playing on these slow low wickets. MI ran RCB close in their opening game and then went on to defeat KKR and SRH. The defending champions had notched up 4 points without even playing their best cricket. They went on to lose a close game against DC.
The defeat to DC felt an aberration but PK defeated them convincingly and the gaps started getting wider in MI’s arsenal. Their batting apart from Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav has failed to click. Rahul Chahar has been their standout bowler but their bowling too in general has lacked discipline. MI will be keen to iron out all their flaws going into the 2nd phase of the league. The conditions at Delhi might be eerily similar to the one in Chennai and this may hurt MI. They will be facing their bogey team RR and MI will love to set this record straight.
RR’s struggle to retain resources:
Rajasthan Royals fought till the very end in their first two games. They narrowly lost against PK in their first game. RR valiantly stayed in the chase of a gargantuan total. They made amends in the second game against DC. Their tactic of taking pace off the ball worked wonderfully well. RR restricted DC to a below-par score of 147. They were struggling at one stage (42-5) chasing the total. Their foreign players, David Miller and Chris Morris bailed them out. But they came a cropper against CSK.
RR were completely outplayed and this must have dented their confidence. Their bowling came short and their batting looked clueless. RCB trashed RR in their last game. RR lost by 10 wickets to RCB. But RR stunningly reversed their fortunes and came back to post a clinical win over KKR. The team has been hamstrung by pullouts and injuries. RR’s biggest opportunity lies in its adversity. They start slight favourites against their favourite team, MI.
MI vs RR: Favourites?
MI are coming off from a well deserved break. They ended their Chennai leg with 2 losses on the trot. MI are currently 4th in the points table with 2 wins and 3 losses. The Delhi pitch might suit the stroke makers of MI a bit more as compared to Chennai. MI’s lower middle-order is yet to fire and this might be the right time for them to come good.
Rajasthan Royals on the other hand are fresh from the victory over KKR. They are severely depleted owing to the lack of options in their overseas department. RR have a strong record against MI in the last 3 years. They are the only team to have a great record against defending champions in this period. RR will fancy its chances against an under-firing MI.
Which players will be match-winners in this game?
Suryakumar Yadav has arguably been MI’s best batsman over the past 3 seasons. He will be key to MI’s revival this season.
Jos Buttler hasn’t yet arrived to the party for RR in IPL 2021. He is too good a player to not leave an impact. Today might just be the game we see the best of Buttler.
RR have a 5-1 win record against MI in the last 3 seasons. The main factor here is RR not losing wickets in the powerplay to MI. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult might just want to correct that fact today.
Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, and Rahul Tewatia have to step up and deliver more with the bat if RR have to pose a serious challenge. They will fancy their chances against their favourite team today.
Probable Playing XI:
Mumbai Indians predicted XI:
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah
Rajasthan Royals predicted XI:
Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (WK), David Miller, Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya
What do stats say about MI vs RR?
MI and RR have played 23 IPL games against each other.
MI has won 11 matches. RR has won 11 games. 1 game has ended in no-result.
MI’s highest score against RR is 212. RR’s highest score against MI is 208.
MI’s lowest score against RR is 92. RR’s lowest score against MI is 103.
The Delhi pitch surprisingly played well in the game featuring CSK and SRH. It stayed true for the entire course of 40 overs. This match being a day game toss won’t play a big role. Teams will enjoy batting under these conditions.
A high of 42 degrees and a low of 25 degrees is expected. There are no chances of rain. The heat might be a factor and teams will want to bat first to counter the conditions.
150 is the average score at this venue. But if the last match is anything to go by then 175 might just be a par score.
It is a classic David vs Goliath battle. We expect RR to continue their recent domination over MI to continue but it’s difficult to rule MI out.