IPL: Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview

Cricketer hits ball

We preview Tuesday's IPL encounter which will see the Mumbai Indians go head-to-head with the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede. 

The reigning champions desperately need to open their account if they are to have any chance of defending their title following defeats against the Chennai Super Kings, the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Delhi Daredevils.

That’ll be easier said than done against the Royal Challengers Bangalore who will look to bounce back following a heavy defeat against the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

MI vs RCB | Tuesday 17 April | Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai | 16:30

To Win Match
Mumbai Indians 21/20
Tie 35/1
Royal Challengers Bangalore 82/100

Mumbai Indians
To be fair to the Mumbai Indians, their three defeats this season read like this: lost to CSK by one wicket with one ball remaining; lost to SRH by one wicket with one ball remaining and lost to DD by seven wickets with 0 balls remaining. Yes, they've yet to record a win but they've not been very far away on all three occasion.

That, however, will offer little consolation to a team that were widely expected the challenge for the title once again this time around. You feel that if they are to stand a chance against RCB, they will need a mammoth batting performance against the Bengaluru outfit’s shaky attack.

Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will be key in this regard. The top order trio have done brilliantly this season as Rohit Sharma’s struggles continue. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in the Indians following their calamitous batting performance following the dismissal of Lewis at the weekend. After being 102-0 after nine overs, they would only go on to score 94 more in their remaining 11 – not good enough when you look at the middle order firepower they possess.

Bowling wise, Krunal Pandya has to be given a more prominent role with the ball against RCB. He was superb against the Delhi Daredevils with his two breakthroughs and miserly economy rate almost getting his side over the line.

Mustafizur Rahman and Jasprit Bumrah continue to impress while young Mayank Markande crashed back down to earth after he was put under the pump for the first time in the tournament at the weekend. How the young leg-spinner bounces back against the wealth of batting talent within RCB's ranks could go on to define his maiden IPL campaign.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
New season, same old problems at the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Their last match against the Rajasthan Royals offered a look at their 2017 campaign in microcosm. Their bowlers were wildly expensive and left far too much for their batsmen to do.

You wonder whether or not Brendon McCullum will remain in the side following a very average start to his season. The veteran New Zealander has only managed 47 runs in three matches. The other three top order superstars – Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock – have struggled to collectively fire in the same match, leaving too much pressure on Washington Sundar and Mandeep Singh further down the order.

Having said that, their real issue within the side lies with the bowling attack. While Chris Woakes and Umesh Yadav had shown promise in the first two matches of the tournament, they were completely obliterated by Sanju Samson and – to a lesser extent – Ajinkya Rahane at either end of a frenetic innings.

Interestingly, the two spinners were excellent amidst the carnage. Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal only conceded 52 runs between them as the seamers got smashed to all parts. Certainly, if the entire playing XI come to the party then you can see them cruising past the Indians. Whether or not everything will fall into place, however, remains to be seen.

Verdict: Mumbai Indians: 21/20
RCB have lost each of their last four matches against the Indians – something you simply can’t overlook when making a selection. I do think that the hosts have a well-rounded starting XI, although there are some serious questions surrounding their squad depth. Nonetheless, I think their bowlers will be able to restrict the Royal Challengers to something manageable. 

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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