There’s a welcome change in tide for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. A win, after six straight losses must come as a tremendous morale-booster. They’re down yes, still at the bottom of the points table, but not out. Not just yet. A couple of losses from here will send them to a point of no return but for now, they can walk out with their heads still high. AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, the architects of their previous win, and leaders in the side are taking it upon themselves to rally the side around. Those are good signs for a team that desperately sought a reversal of fortunes.
There are problems still, especially in the bowling department but maybe now, with the confidence of a win, they can operate with a little more freedom, deliver some of their plans “without fear” as their skipper had been asking of them a few games ago, as they also managed briefly in they previous game.
But one swallow cannot make a summer and RCB have no choice but to try and carry forward the momentum, to try and get on a roll. A turnaround time of just one day before their next game should help their cause somewhat. They’ll also be up against a team that knows a thing or two about making comebacks through a season, the Mumbai Indians.
Rohit Sharma’s men have blown hot and cold through IPL 2019. They’ve now had a couple of close finishes at home, which has seen them end on the right and wrong sides of the result. The most recent one, again just a day ago, was their loss to Rajasthan Royals.
When: Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore at 08:00 PM on April 15, 2019
Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
What to expect: No surprises from the pitch if previous games are anything to go by. The runs have come easier to get for stroke-makers here than a few other grounds. And unlike the previous game which was played at 4PM, dew is likely to be a factor in the chase.
Despite a loss in the previous game, Mumbai Indians are unlikely to tinker with their combination, unless forced to. Alzarri Joseph landed badly on his shoulder while fielding and if he passes unfit in the quick turnaround, Lasith Malinga should find a spot. Quinton de Kock, who scored a fifty, in the previous game was left dehydrated as Ishan Kishan took up keeping duties. Kishan reckoned that de Kock should be alright for the game, which could mean that Evin Lewis continues to sit out.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendoff, Alzarri Joseph/Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB have tended to give players a longer rope this season, even when they were losing. A victory later, that policy ought not to change.
Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj
Stats and trivia
– Since 2016, Mumbai Indians have won six of the seven head to head contests against RCB, including all three at the Wankhede.
– Rohit Sharma hasn’t scored a fifty in his last 13 innings – the longest such sequence for him playing for MI and the second-longest in all IPL.
– Jasprit Bumrah has taken more wickets against RCB than any other opposition – 16. He has dismissed both Kohli & de Villiers twice each.
What they said
We know what we have to do. We have to win a lot of games of cricket. The next step is Mumbai, the Wankhede stadium. We love playing cricket there – AB de Villiers is up for the challenge