Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma (left), and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli
Almost a month later, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) are facing each other once more in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
However, the game on October 28 night at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi is now become very crucial for both the teams to get a vital two points to confirm their spot in the playoffs, which at one stage seemed just a formality for them.
“You have to be prepared on a given day to do well. All sides have good players; it’s about how you come out onto the park on that particular day. We are playing really good cricket and you have to accept you will lose games here and there," said Virat Kohli after the loss in the last match.
Interestingly, RCB is the only team that MI hasn’t defeated in this tournament. So, there could be some extra motivation for MI in this game. “When somebody has a good day, you have to give a lot of appreciation to the other team, they were very smart in the chances they took, overall nothing to be worried about, we are still pretty clear and we have nothing that we have to change drastically, it was just one day when the opposition played better,” Jasprit Bumrah had said after the loss against KXIP.
Middle order muddle for RCB
There is little to choose between the death over destruction capabilities of both the teams as both are scoring around 12 runs per over, however, RCb strangely becomes quiet in the middle overs (7-15). As they tend to score below 7 (6.8, which is the worst amongst all eight teams) in that phase.
MI always had an advantage over RCB in head to head encounters (16-10 for MI), but in the last four years, Kohli has managed just two wins against Rohit Sharma in eight matches. This time Rohit is unlikely to make it to the playing XI yet despite last win against MI in the first half of the tournament, RCB won’t have any kind of advantage over the four times champion.
Last time when the two met the ever-confident MI had edge over a confused RCB on form and history. Both the teams had faced each other after playing two matches each and had the same kind of results and equal points. That match was evenly fought that it went into super over and there too it was decided on the last ball.
Familiarity advantage with Mumbai in Abu Dhabi
This season Abu Dhabi is like Wankhede stadium for the Mumbai Indians as they have won five of their seven games here. However, the Royal Challengers Bangalore is yet to see a loss on this ground as they have won tow out of two.
Likely XI Mumbai Indians: Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard (C), Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Likely XI Royal Challengers Bangalore: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Moeen Ali, Gurkeerat Singh, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Mohammed Siraj.