Seventh-placed Rajasthan Royals take on the heat of table-toppers Mumbai Indians in a riveting fixture for the end part of the tournament. While Rohit Sharma is yet to recover, expect Kieron Pollard to lead the side, as Rajasthan Royals would be aiming to find the chinks in Mumbai’s golden armour.
Rajasthan Royals - L W L L W
Rajasthan Royals walked into their last encounter against Sunrisers on a high, after defeating Chennai Super Kings in a low-scoring fixture. However, they were bashed ruthlessly as neither their batting nor their bowling came good on the night, which brings them to this clash against Mumbai Indians, the table toppers. While the odds are not stacked in their favour exactly, the Royals need to come out swinging and hope for Mumbai to have a rough night in order to clinch a victory. Ben Stokes needs to step up his batting while the likes of Samson and Buttler need to continue their form till the end of the innings. In bowling, Jofra Archer remains their only hope in an otherwise weak bowling-unit.
Mumbai Indians - W L W W W
The stacks are completely tilted in Mumbai’s favour, with the four-time IPL champions putting on a show against Chennai Super Kings, where they decimated them both with the bat and the ball. While Boult’s good form comes in as an advantage for the franchise, the likes of Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya too have upped their game, which has them favouring against Rajasthan. On the other hand, their batting only continues to grow, with or without their skipper Rohit Sharma, which makes them a clear favourite against the struggling Royals side.
Rajasthan Royals - Jos Buttler
After the game against CSK, where Buttler seemed to be batting on a completely different track, the right-hander had an off-game against the Sunrisers, where he gifted his wicket to Vijay Shankar, on the back of a tame shot. This time around, he would be more varied against his former teammates, Mumbai Indians, in order to bring the Royals back up on the table, for a place in the play-off stages. Just by one run, Samson has been leading the Royals run-scorer chart but Buttler should against Mumbai go past that and continue to show the entire world what he is made of, despite it being in the middle-order.
Mumbai Indians - Quinton De Kock
Ishan Kishan came up with one of the best batting displays this year against Chennai Super Kings, his partner at the other end, Quinton de Kock hasn’t been too far behind in terms of scoring runs at a consistent rate. The left-handed Proteas opener has scored the most runs for the franchise this season, with 368 runs in 10 games, at an average of 36.8, including a high-scoring of 78, coming against Kolkata Knight Riders. Expect the Proteas star to come up good against the pace attack of Jofra Archer, who stands as a key for the Royals bowling attack.
Rajasthan Royals - Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer has been an incredible revelation for the Royals this season, both with the bat and the ball, coming up clutch against most-sides. In just the last game, Smith utilised the pacer for the red-hot opening duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. So expect a similar ploy this time around, against a Mumbai batting unit minus Rohit Sharma. The right-arm pacer has picked up 15 wickets for the franchise, way more than the others, who have picked up just seven. On top of that, his pace too would come in handy against Ishan Kishan, who has struggled in the past against top-quality pacers.
Mumbai Indians - Jasprit Bumrah
Let’s put it this way - Trent Boult had an outing that was unforgettable against Chennai Super Kings in the Indians’ last encounter but Jasprit Bumrah has been Mumbai’s trump card for seasons. Boult has picked up 16 wickets this tournament, with four of them coming against Chennai but Bumrah has picked up 17 wickets and will have an edge over the left-arm seamer against the likes of Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson, who have struggled against pace in the past. With Kagiso Rabada running away with the purple cap, the right-arm seamer would want to close the gap between himself and the Proteas pacer, in the clash against Rajasthan.
RR - Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith (c), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Kartik Tyagi
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
When to Watch: Oct 25, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)