Mumbai: Fresh on the back of a much-needed win, the Royal Challengers of Bangalore will hope to keep their IPL 2019 campaign alive as they face the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.
Much to the bemusement of the fans and critics alike, the Virat Kohli-led outfit have been way below-par this term, however, two upsets over the weekend have opened up the league table tremendously.
The Mumbai Indians have won four out of their seven matches and are in the top half of the league table while the Royal Challengers will be looking for their second win of IPL 2019. Both sides will want to win but Bangalore can ill-afford another loss at this stage.
The Mumbai Indians are playing at home and have shown more resilience than the Royal Challengers Bangalore. That being said, the form of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers makes Bangalore a very tough side as well. The fact that Bangalore cannot afford another loss also will cause them to play with freedom.
The chasing team has won the last nine matches in the IPL and so the toss is going to have a very big role to play as well.
The wicket in the Wankhede is excellent for batting and the side which bats better is likely to win. This will put the pressure on Rohit Sharma as well as Suryakumar Yadav batting at number three. His form has not been great and Ishan Kishan may be in line to get a promotion up the order.
Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendorff, and the Pandya brothers make the bowling attack quite good, although Hardik Pandya’s economy rate at the end of the inning will be a concern as well.
Steyn boost for RCB
Interestingly, Virat chose to play with just three overseas players. Now that Dale Steyn has joined the team, Mohammad Siraj may miss out in the next game and be replaced by the South African.
Having Dale Steyn in the side is going to give it a big boost. He is one of the most experienced campaigners in the world and has been bowling back to his best after returning from a shoulder injury.
Support for Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal continues to be one of the best spinners of IPL 2019 and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be hoping to provide him some assistance in this match. Mumbai Indians are a very strong batting side and are going to test the Bangalore bowling attack.
Given that the visitors have recorded just a solitary win at the half-way stage, every game for them becomes a double pointer, giving them the opportunity to climb up and claw their way back in the tournament, which otherwise was all but over for them had they lost on Saturday.