After losing their respective opening fixtures, both teams will be eager to bounce back and register their first win of the season.
Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will both be looking to recover from disappointing starts to their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 campaign when they meet at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on March 28. The match also pits the no. 1 ranked ODI batsman Virat Kohli against the best ODI bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
RCB made a disastrous start to their IPL 2019 campaign as they were bowled out for just 70 on a spin-friendly Chepauk track. None of their batsmen barring Parthiv Patel (29) could reach double figures, with the likes of Kohli and AB de Villiers firing blanks. Chennai chased down the total comfortably with 7 wickets and 14 balls to spare.
Mumbai on the other hand were blown apart by a fantastic innings from 21-year-old Rishabh Pant who finished with an unbeaten 78 from just 27 balls. Pant fired Delhi to 213/6 and barring Yuvraj Singh (53 off 35) and Krunal Pandya (32 off 15) none of the other Mumbai batmen turned up as they fell short by 37 runs.
Kohli wasn't bothered too much by the result in Chennai saying after the game that "it's good to get a game like this out of the way - this early in the tournament." However, the RCB skipper will be eager to get his team off the blocks quickly, especially with growing criticism on his failure to win a single IPL trophy.
Mumbai who are known to be slow-starters in the IPL haven't won a season-opening game since 2012. However, their slow start cost them last season as they failed to make it to the playoffs after losing seven of their first eight games. The sole victory in that dismal run came against RCB and MI will be hoping to make a better start this season as they chase a fourth IPL crown.
Timing – 8 pm
Venue – M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
Where to watch – Star Sports 1/1HD/1 Hindi/1HD Hindi/1 Tamil/1 Telugu/1 Kannada/1 Bangla/Select 1/Select 1HD
Head to head:
Both teams have faced each other 25 times in the past with Mumbai emerging winners on 16 occasions. Bangalore have managed to win just 9 of those encounters.
Mumbai will be bolstered by the return of Lasith Malinga who was cleared by Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) to participate in the IPL. Malinga was expected to miss the initial half of the tournament as SLC had made it mandatory for World Cup hopefuls to compete in their Super Provincial One-day domestic tournament from April 4 to 11. Bumrah who picked up a shoulder injury in the previous match has also been declared fit to participate.
Bangalore have no injury concerns coming into this game and will be expected to field the same playing XI from their previous game.
Prediction: who will win?
Both teams boast of having some of the world’s best batsmen batsmen in their line-ups and we could be in for a high-scoring encounter. However, RCB will be expected to emerge as close winners mainly due to their home advantage.
Betting odds (Bet365):
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 10/11
Mumbai Indians: 10/11
Other popular bets can be checked on Oddschecker.com.
M.Chinnaswamy Stadium Pitch Report: The pitch at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium is known to assist spinner which means the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Mayank Markande will be pivotal to their team’s fortunes. The previous five night T20 matches have yielded an average score of 191 for the team batting first.
Moneycontrol Dream XI: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah and Mayank Markande.
Players to watch out for:
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The RCB skipper is the second-highest run-scorer in the IPL with 4954 runs from just 156 innings. He could become only the second batsman to reach with 5,000 mark in the IPL if he can score 46 runs against Mumbai.
Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians)
The Indian speedster didn't have a great outing in the first match leaking 31 runs in his final two overs. Bumrah will be looking to make a quick comeback in this game and will be eager to perform against the likes of Kohli and de Villiers.IPL points table: Mumbai find themselves at the bottom of the pile after suffering a heavy defeat in the first game with a negative net run rate (NRR) of -1.850. Bangalore are sixth with a NRR of -0.519. Check out the updated points table here.