Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will face Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a must-win encounter at in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, October 6. Both MI and RR are eyeing for a fourth-place finish to join Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021 playoffs.
Rajasthan and Mumbai have the poorest Net Run Rate (NRR) among the four teams who are in contention for a playoffs berth in IPL 2021. Mumbai are reeling at the seventh spot after losing four out of their last five matches, while sixth-placed Rajasthan have managed only two wins in their last five encounters.
MI batting has been below par throughout the season and Rohit Sharma minced no words in admitting it after going down by four wickets against Delhi Capitals (DC). Out-of-form Suryakumar Yadav top scored for the side with 33 runs, whereas, Quinton de Kock with 19, was the second highest run-scorer. The bowlers have done comparatively well but have not not found support from the famous Mumbai batting line-up. Rohit Sharma is the only player from the team in the list of top-10 batsmen to score most runs in the tournament after match 49 of the IPL 2021.
The storyline is no different for Sanju Samson's Rajasthan. He is the only batsman from the team to make a place in the list of top-10 IPL 2021 run-getters. The swashbuckling batsman is occupying the third spot with 480 runs. Like MI, no other batsman from RR has crossed the 300-run mark. Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal have shown some consistency and Shivam Dube provided the much-needed impetus towards the end in the last match to help his team gun down 190 with 15 balls to spare against Chennai. On the bowling front, the consistency is amiss, with pacers leaking in excess of 50 runs quite frequently.
The strong bowling unit of MI and knack of their batsmen to turn the heat on the opposition in high-voltage matches, will give Rohit Sharma's team to have a serious go at Sanju Samson's Pink Army.
Sanju Samson to score a 50 @ 5.7
Excitement is at its peak whenever Sanju Samson walks in the middle to bat. The Rajasthan Royals (RR) captain has been lauded for his immense batting talent time and again, but inconsistency has often been his undoing.
He started the IPL 2020 with a bang, scoring 74 and 85 in the first two matches before heading back to the pavilion for 8, 4, 0 and 5 in the next four outings.
In IPL 2021, Sanju Samson hit a scintillating 63-ball 119 knock in his team's IPL 2021 opener vs PBKS. Scores of 4, 1, 21, 42*, 42 and 48 followed before the edition was postponed due to Covid-19 outbreak in India. The Kerala star has shined and showed a better consistency again in the UAE leg of the 14th edition. In his four outings in the Gulf nation so far, he has scored two fifties (70* and 82) and is currently occupying the third spot in the list highest run-getters in the season. 480 runs is what Samson has managed at an average of 48 in 12 matches. The 26-year-old got starts with 28 and 19 in his last two matches but caught out on both the occasions while trying to clear the boundary ropes.
Sanju Samson was part of the recent Sri Lanka tour where he featured in all three T20Is, scoring 27, 7 and 0. The poor show saw him being ignored from India's squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Also, RR have to win both their remaining matches to make it to the play-offs and that gives Samson two points to score a solid fifty and make a statement.
Rohit Sharma to score a 50 @ 4.1
Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma is yet to score a fifty in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021, and with his team on the cusp of being thrown out of the playoffs race, the 34-year-old must be raring to go big against the Royals on Wednesday. He scored 33 and 43 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and 43 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) but could manage only 8 and 7 in his next two outings against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Delhi Capitals (DC) respectively.
Last two of his three dismissals have been against the spinners while trying to clear the midwicket region. In the last match against DC, Rohit aimed for a pull shot off Avesh Khan but the ball skidded faster than he expected and went into the hands of short third-man fielder. The experienced campaigner by now must have figured out that he has been found wanting while trying to clear the leg-side boundary. Also, with his team's back pressed against the wall, it's certain that the the 'Hitman' will look to set the stage on fire in Sharjah.
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