MI vs RCB: Mumbai Indians face Royal Challengers Bangalore with season at stake | Cricket News


Struggling five-time champions take on RCB who have winning momentum
It is a season of change for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Change of guard with Faf du Plessis taking over as skipper, fresh talent, a new-look bowling attack and a middle-order that looks stable, courtesy the seasoned Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed.

The changes notwithstanding, RCB have had some teething issues, which saw them lose a high-scoring opener against Punjab Kings before they found their touch and pulled off back-to-back victories.


They will take heart and confidence from the twin wins when they face a struggling Mumbai Indians in their fourth match of the season.
In sharp contrast, former champions Mumbai have looked a pale shadow of the competitive unit they have been. They have struggled in all departments and as a result, find themselves ninth on the table of 10. To keep their hopes of advancing in the tournament alive, they will have to snap their three-match losing streak.


For that to happen, Rohit Sharma and Co. will have to get their act together. Starting with the skipper, the top-order batsmen have been inconsistent after the opening match against Delhi Capitals in which Rohit (41) and Ishan Kishan (81) were involved in a 67-run first-wicket association.
While Tilak Varma has made some useful contributions, the middle-order now looks stable with the return of Suryakumar Yadav, who missed the first two matches owing to an injury. Daniel Sams is yet to make an impact with the bat and more importantly, the 29-year-old left-arm pacer has disappointed with the ball.


Jasprit Bumrah will continue to spearhead the pace attack while Murugan Ashwin will be the mainstay spinner. On paper, Mumbai are a formidable side. For that to translate on the field, consistency will be the key.
For RCB, at the top of the order, the focus will be on former skipper Virat Kohli and a young Anuj Rawat. Barring Du Plessis 81 in the opener, none of the other batsmen have a half-century against their names.


Following an unbeaten 29-ball 41 against Punjab, Kohli’s bat has gone cold, with the star batsman returning 12 and 5 in the subsequent matches. Rawat too has struggled with a duck against Kolkata Knight Riders. In his other two outings, he failed to convert the 20s.
In the bowling unit, RCB has enough ammunition to trouble the Mumbai line-up with Mohammed Siraj, David Willey and Harshal Patel being the lead pacers. Having gone with just one spinner-Sri Lankan Wanindu Hasaranga, in the previous three outings, RCB are unlikely to tinker with the combination when they meet Mumbai in a night game in Pune.