With Chennai Super Kings already qualified for finals, the hunt for the second finalist happens today at Mumbai’s very own Wankhede Stadium between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. With both the teams already qualified for the Champions League T2o, this match is virtually a semi final as the loser is just knocked out of the tournament.
LAST LEAGUE MEETING:
Last time when these two teams met, the encounter was pretty one sided. Tendulkar and Rayidu helped themselves with half centuries to chase a target of 140 and eventually shared the Man of the Match award. But that was considered as B.C period for RCB (Before the Arrival of Christopher Henry Gayle).
RCB have hardly had cause for worry in the A.D period.(After the injury of Dirk Nannes).They won 7 matches in a row to create a new IPL record, thanks mainly to Gayle and valid contributions from Kohli. After the arrival of Gayle, RCB have lost only two matches: one at Dharamsala where Gayle got out for a duck and the other one at Mumbai where he was gone for a mere 9 ball 8 runs. So if Gayle fails, RCB loses. That’s how the story goes for RCB.
So the Camp want Gayle to fire to boost the morale of the camp, because once he gets going, the team is simply unstoppable. Also DeVilliers didn’t have a considerable season with the bat as he had last season. So all RCB supporters would expect him to fire. Ever Since Dilshan left the squad, RCB have struggled to find a suitable opening parter to Gayle. Mayank Agarwal, India’s leading run-scorer in concluded U-19 WC, opened the innings last time and he had decent success. So he is expected to cement his spot.
“My wicket keeping is coming along very well, and I am getting good experience in Indian conditions. I have shown that I can do both [batting and keeping] and fitness is not a worry.”
AB de Villiers can’t do anything wrong at the moment
Mumbai, on the other hand, have had a roller-coaster season this year. They were right on the top during the first leg of the league stage where Malinga’s venomous Yorkers helped dismantle teams one by one. A sudden dip in his bowling form has however caused MI a lot of problems. His team would expect him to fire in this all-important match.
MI’s precious child, Kieron Pollard has hardly shown any intentions to score runs this season after his blitzkrieg exploits in the previous edition. Last-season’s Best-U 23-player is arguably the biggest flop of the season. For him to get going, he should be promoted up the order in order to showcase his brutal power hitting.
“Ambati Rayudu is a youngster and you let him react the way he does. He will mature. You just let him be. Harbhajan Singh has also always been aggressive. We have had characters in tennis like McEnroe … We need characters like that in cricket.”
Sachin Tendulkar might not be a fiery character on a cricket field, but he sure likes to see some fire.
Although it is a team game, it is the subplots that will determine the outcome. Of all, the most important sub plots are Gayle vs Malinga and Tendulkar vs Zaheer. All in all, we can expect a thrilling encounter in this semi-final.