RCB will be buoyed by the return of talismanic Virat Kohli when they take on Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium today. Kohli has been out of action since sustaining a shoulder injury in the third Test against Australia last month. MI, meanwhile, will look to their middle-order to fire.
Kohli and RCB have become synonymous, with the former largely responsible for the franchise's huge fan base despite the team never having won the crown in nine seasons. Kohli set several batting records last season, aggregating 973 runs including four centuries. AB de Villiers scored 687 as RCB raced to the final before falling to Sunrisers Hyderabad at the final hurdle. Inconsistent bowling has been a cause for concern for RCB this season.
MI, meanwhile, are on a roll after victories over Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers, Although Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard are yet to hit their stride, youngsters like Nitish Rana and Krunal Pandya have taken up the responsibility.
Head to Head
MI hold a slight edge at 11 to 8.
Rohit-led Mumbai Indians prevailed over Kohli's side by six wickets in their previous meeting.
Virat Kohli (RCB): The India skipper had said he'd return only if he's 120 % fit. The kind of player that he is, Kohli will only need to
Hardik Pandya (MI): The enterprising all-rounder could play a key role with his big shots, given that Chinnaswamy Stadium is a small boundary ground. Not to forget his sharp medium-pace.
"Last year we won some really good matches away from home and that's why we reached the finals. In order to do that, that's the most important factor in the IPL. You need to win the away games. We know we play good cricket at home. But that's [away fixtures] something that will stay in focus for us through the season." - Virat Kohli.
"You must have seen both of them [the Pandya brothers] on the ground. They're very expressive. We've given them the liberty and freedom. I hope they keep continuing because it's a long tournament." - Rohit Sharma
Time: 4 PM
Venue: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
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