Two sides with a win and a loss each thus far in the 13th edition of the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians will go toe-to-toe with each other in Dubai on Monday. While RCB are coming on the back of a 97-run drubbing, MI, meanwhile, will be looking to register back-to-back wins.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - L W W NR L
After a promising start to the season, RCB were handed a reality check in their second game of the season by Kings XI Punjab, who thrashed Virat Kohli’s men by 97 runs. It was a forgettable outing for the Royal Challengers, who had no positives to take away from the game and also saw a myriad of old issues creep up in their game. Beating Mumbai, a side that historically has had the better of them will be a big ask for Virat Kohli & Co.
Mumbai Indians - W L W W W
After a rusty start in their season-opener versus Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians 'finally’ broke their UAE duck in game two versus Kolkata Knight Riders. Versus KKR, MI were dominant on all fronts and the game also saw the return of the form of Jasprit Bumrah, who bamboozled the KKR batsmen - barring Cummins - with some exceptional fast bowling. Barring their lower-order big hitters not yet finding form, everything else seems to be going fine for Rohit Sharma’s side.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - AB de Villiers
That AB de Villiers is still RCB’s best batsman at 36 years of age speaks volumes of how good a cricketer he is. RCB’s victory in the season-opener versus SRH was enabled by a fine de Villiers cameo that broke the back of the Sunrisers bowling and even in the clash versus Punjab, he turned out to be the only batsman who put up a fight. With 79 runs in 2 games, striking at 164.58, the Proteas star has been head and shoulders above every other compatriot and it goes unsaid that he will, once again, be pivotal to RCB’s chances come Monday.
Mumbai Indians - Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma’s 80 versus KKR was a brutal reminder of why he is the best limited-overs opener in the world and in that knock there were signs that he could finally endure ‘that’ big IPL season that has evaded him for multiple years. In a knock that oozed class, Rohit struck 3 fours and 6 humongous sixes and hit the KKR bowlers into oblivion. Should the RCB bowlers bowl the way they did against Rahul come Monday, expect ‘Hitman’ to hit the second ton of the season.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal, thus far this IPL, has looked like an expert in a team full of novices. His 3/18 versus SRH helped tilt the game in his side’s favour and versus KXIP, where the RCB bowlers were smashed to smithereens, the leggie remarkably returned figures of 1/25. With his team’s pacers down on confidence, Chahal will be key to RCB’s chances once again, and with there being a clear weakness for MI’s talisman, Rohit Sharma, versus leg-spin, the Jharkhand man could prove to be the wrecker-in-chief.
Mumbai Indians - Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah’s figures from the KKR game might read 2/32, but those numbers do no justice to how good a spell he bowled. Of the 32 runs he conceded, 27 came off a dire final over he bowled to Cummins, and, prior to that, he had figures of 2/5 off 3 overs. After an uncharacteristically bad first game vs CSK, Bumrah rediscovered his confidence versus KKR and brought out all variations to leave the batsmen perplexed. Should he get going, Bumrah might give a torrid time to the RCB batters on Monday.
Bangalore: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Josh Philippe (wk), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal
Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
When to Watch: Sep 28, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)