Fresh from their first victory of the season on Saturday, Royal Challengers Bangalore will be looking to keep their playoff hopes alive when they face Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. The last time these two teams met in the season, it was a game marred by controversy as umpire failed to spot a no ball and de Villiers' effort went in vain for RCB. Mumbai will be looking to regain momentum after going down to Rajasthan Royals in the previous game with the race for the playoff spots getting closer by the game. The home team will be needing their captain Rohit Sharma to lead from the front. He got off to a start against Royals but was dismissed for 47. He is yet to register a half-century this season. RCB’s dependency on AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli is no secret. Getting them early will be key for Mumbai to succeed but both the players have an impressive record at Wankhede. The toss might well play a key role with RCB preferring to chase rather than set a target.
Lasith Malinga might return for the home team, especially after Alzarri Joseph leaked 53 runs in three overs in the last game and also looked to have hurt his shoulder during fielding. Jasprit Bumrah will be the bowler to watch out for and his mouth-watering clash against Kohli will be something everyone will keep an eye on. RCB bowling will be under the pump at Wankhede – a ground on which 180 has been the par score. Navdeep Saini has been the only bright spark in an otherwise disappointing bowling line-up. Dale Steyn will be joining the team soon and that should help the men in red but this game might come a bit too soon for the fiery fast bowler.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
ROHIT SHARMA – The Mumbai skipper hasn’t been having the best of seasons but looked good in the match against Royals. He was impressive during his stay at the crease and is too good a player to be kept quiet for such a long time. A flat track and an ordinary RCB bowling attack might prove to be the perfect fodder for the hitman to roar back into form.
NAVDEEP SAINI - Kohli and de Villiers are known match-winners but young Saini has been one of the impressive players in this IPL. His exploits in the Ranji Trophy are well known but he has announced himself on the big stage with solid performances. Clocking speeds above 145 kmph regularly, Saini will certainly be tested against Mumbai but will back himself to do the job for his team.
MI – Joseph likely to miss out due to a shoulder injury and Malinga is likely to return.
RCB – Steyn is likely to join the team but whether he is straight away thrown into the action is what remains to be seen.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI
MI: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan (WK) Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jason Behrendorff, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
RCB: Parthiv Patel (w), Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi/Shivam Dube, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav/Dale Steyn
MI - Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Alzarri Joseph, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Ankul Roy, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan (wk), Aditya Tare, Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav.
RCB - Virat Kohli (C), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya and Tim Southee, Dale Steyn