It’s the final battle of the group stages of this IPL. One team has already made it to the playoffs and the other losing out on it. However, still a lot at stake as Royals take on Mumbai at the Sawai Mansingh stadium tonight. After a disappointing loss to DC the other night, which hampered their chances of making it to the play-offs, Rajasthan would look to erase that disappointment with a win over MI and end the tournament on a high. Mumbai on the other hand, even though have made it to the play-offs, have looked patchy throughout and would like to carry some confidence into the next stage by a win against a formidable side like RR.
Rajasthan after a promising start faded away in the tournament. They still are a balanced side and look good to beat Mumbai. Bringing back Hodge for Shah might be a good move as the middle-order is struggling for stabililty and runs are hard to come by. To overcome the strong Mumbai bowling, Rahane and co. have to play out of their skins. Bowling looks good with Tait and Watson leading the attack capably. Mumbai, on the other hand, seem to have one of the best bowling units with Malinga, Bhajji, Munaf and Pollard all being amongst the wickets. Even RP has joined the party off late. However, on a slow Jaipur pitch, MI will be looking to get Ojha into the equation. Mumbai batting has been wayward and Rohit has been their only consistent performer with the bat. MI would be keen to sort out this issue before the play-offs.
The best player for Rajasthan this season. Has provided the starts early in the season, and has one last chance to impress the selectors ahead of the T-20 WC in September. With the middle-order struggling, he has to provide the firepower early in the innings.
Form has been patchy. Has never really played like his destructive self. Would be keen to prove a point or two against a quality bowling unit like MI. Malinga vs Watson, a battle to watch out for.
If MI have Malinga, RR have Tait. He has been sublime and destructive. His raw pace has simply put many batsmen off balance. Has a liking for Tendulkar’s wicket and would be keen to get him again.
Has been consistent throughout the tournament. A terrific player of spin, and the Jaipur wicket will suit his style of stroke-making. Would love to carry some form into the play-offs. Tait vs Sharma is another awaited contest.
On a slow Jaipur wicket, his medium pacers will come handy. Also would like to get some runs under his belt. Never really has played to his potential. MI need him to fire before the play-offs.
Would look to seal the purple cap. Has been outstanding as always. Though has gone for a few runs a couple of times, wickets have never eluded him. If he can strike early, MI will pretty much have the game in their bag.
Both teams look balanced. With Dravid’s future in IPL uncertain, RR will be keen to provide a fitting farewell. A Rajasthan Royals win and a Dravid’s half century would provide the perfect ending!!!