Resurgent Mumbai lock horns with inspired Rajasthan Royals

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 16, 2013, 7:47 PM IST
Resurgent Mumbai lock horns with inspired Rajasthan Royals

Jaipur: Two of the greatest legends of the game - Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid - will be up against each other in the game 23 of IPL 6 when Rajasthan Royals take on Mumbai Indians at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday. Both Rajasthan and Mumbai have six points each from four outings having won three matches respectively, but the visitors have a better net run rate of +1.150, which have placed them at the top of the table.

After their comfortable win over Kings XI Punjab in their previous encounter, Rajasthan will be hoping to continue their winning form. Shane Watson recovering from injury will give them a major boost. He scored a little cameo against Punjab and team management will hope that he can make a big one this time around. His fellow opener Ajinkya Rahane scored a calm and composed inning against KXIP and helped them to the finish line. The duo will be hoping to give RR a good start against the dangerous Mumbai bowling.

Rajasthan's middle order will also have a work cut out. Dravid along with Brad Hodge and Kevon Cooper have to share the responsibility in the middle and death overs if they have to give MI's run for the money. Young wicketkeeper Sanju Samson played a crucial knock against Punjab in the middle and death overs to ensure Rajasthan two points.

In the bowling department, with Sreesanth shrugging off the recent 'slapgate' controversy with a superb effort against Punjab will hope to continue the good form against high and mighty Mumbai's batting. Siddarth Trivedi has been a revelation so far and it won't be wrong to say that he is the most reliable of all the bowlers for Rajasthan Royals. Death bowlers specialist Cooper and James Faulkner have also played their part.

On the other hand, big spending has ensured that Mumbai have likes of Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, with T20 specialists Keiron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayadu at their disposal. With Ponting struggling with form, Tendulkar on the other hand played a superb cameo against Pune in their previous encounter that helped him get some confidence back. Rohit and Dinesh are having a dream run at the moment and they will be once again key to add stability in the middle overs.

Their bowling, with Malinga now fully fit wears a lethal look. Mitchell Johnson, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and Pollard give them the variety and the options for any surface. But Rajasthan have always stood up to Mumbai's challenge, winning four of out of six ties. Whoever wins this contest will surely take a lot of pride and will take a huge step for the play-offs qualification.

Probable XI:

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Rahul Dravid (capt), 4 Brad Hodge, 5 Sanju Samson (wk), 6 Stuart Binny, 7 Kevon Cooper, 8 James Faulkner,9 Sreesanth, 10 Siddarth Trivedi, 11 Ajit Chandila

Mumbai Indians: 1 Ricky Ponting (capt), 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Harbhajan Singh, 8 Rishi Dhawan, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Mitchell Johnson, 11 Pragyan Ojha

First Published: April 16, 2013, 7:47 PM IST

Team Rankings

1 India 3925 123
2 South Africa 3050 117
3 Australia 3087 100
4 England 3362 99
5 New Zealand 3114 97
FULL Ranking