Mumbai : It will be a battle between Indian cricket’s two modern-day stars, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, when Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) takes to the field for their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
In their previous match, Mumbai Indians had secured a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings. On the other hand, RCB had lost by seven wickets against Delhi Capitals. RCB is in the fifth position in the points table with five wins and five losses. They have a total of ten points. On the other hand, MI also has the same win-loss record and number of points, but is down to sixth position due to an inferior net run rate.
In their previous IPL 2023 match, Faf du Plessis led RCB had defeated MI by eight wickets, with Virat’s 82* off 49 balls guided the team’s run chase of 172 runs. He and Faf (73) put on 148 for the first wicket, which is still the highest stand of IPL 2023.
For MI, the main concern is their skipper’s Rohit Sharma’s batting form. He has scored only 184 runs in 10 matches with only one fifty at an average below 20. He will have to fire in order to give his team a bigger chance of winning and he has the full backing of his team.
‘Absolutely not (worried about his form). A legend that Rohit is, especially with Mumbai and everything that he has done in his career, we actually back him. He could come back into the form at any time. So far, he has batted beautifully in a few games, showing really good tempo at the top, so we are absolutely backing him,’ said Australian all-rounder Cameron Green, who opened in place of Rohit in the previous match against Chennai Super Kings ahead of the match.
But their other batters are slowly getting among the runs. Opener Ishan Kishan (293 runs in 10 matches with two fifties), Suryakumar Yadav (293 runs in 10 matches with three fifties), Cameron Green (272 runs in 10 matches with two fifties) and Tilak Verma (274 runs in nine matches with a fifty) combine together to form an exciting, reliable batting line-up. Tim David can also play monstrous cameos down the order.
On the other hand, a key concern is their bowling, which tends to go expensive at times but has performed better than expected in the absence of pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Piyush Chawla (17 wickets) is having a wonderful revival so far and would be someone the team would turn up to for breakthroughs. Rest, Jofra Archer (two wickets in five matches), Jason Behrendorff (8 wickets in six matches), Riley Meredith (seven wickets in five matches), Cameron Green (five wickets in 10 matches) and Arshad Khan (five wickets in six matches) will have to pick up either in number of wickets or their economy rate.
RCB also is not without its concern, as it is heavily dependent on its top three. Virat Kohli (419 runs in 10 matches with six fifties), skipper Faf (511 runs in 10 matches with five fifties) and Glenn Maxwell (262 runs in 10 matches with three fifties) have hit the majority of the team’s runs. Its Indian batters like Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik, the finisher and Suyash Prabhudesai have failed to show consistency. Lomror though showed good signs with 54 off 29 balls in the last match against DC. Dinesh (110 runs in 10 matches) will have to find his fire.
RCB has performed solidly with the ball, led by Mohammed Siraj (15 wickets) and Harshal Patel (12 wickets). Both are getting some solid support from returning Wanindu Hasaranga (7 wickets), Josh Hazlewood (3 wickets) and Karn Sharma. RCB is prone to leaking runs and their death bowling has been a mixed bag in the tournament.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis(c), Anuj Rawat, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik(w), Kedar Jadhav, Wanindu Hasaranga, Karn Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood, Harshal Patel, Suyash Prabhudessai, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Michael Bracewell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Akash Deep, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Himanshu Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Wayne Parnell, Sonu Yadav, Finn Allen, Siddarth Kaul
Mumbai Indians Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Tristan Stubbs, Tim David, Nehal Wadhera, Jofra Archer, Piyush Chawla, Akash Madhwal, Arshad Khan, Kumar Kartikeya, Ramandeep Singh, Dewald Brevis, Raghav Goyal, Vishnu Vinod, Riley Meredith, Shams Mulani, Arjun Tendulkar, Tilak Varma, Hrithik Shokeen, Duan Jansen, Sandeep Warrier, Jason Behrendorff.