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IPL 2018, MI vs RCB: 5 players to watch out for

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3.77K   //    17 Apr 2018, 13:23 IST

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final
Virat Kohli's captaincy will be on the radar

Tonight’s game in the VIVO IPL promises to be a high octane clash between two bigwigs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI). The defending champions as has been the pattern in previous years have struggled to get going so far. They are yet to register a win in this year’s IPL.

Playing on their home turf on a true pitch which would guarantee a lot of runs but which would assist the bowlers early on, MI will hope that the players who matter for them come out of their slumber and start delivering. It’s not like they have been dominated in their first three games, it’s just that they were unable to capitalize on crunch situations in each game leading to defeats.

RCB, on the other hand, are hit with the same problems that have always affected them over the years. They are too dependent on their top order and in particular AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli. Their middle order has looked really fragile with only Mandeep Singh providing some hope for the RCB fans and team management.

And it’s not how well the bowlers execute strategies in the first half of the innings that matters, it’s the ability of the bowlers to keep a check on the runs in the death overs that is most crucial in a T20 game. For RCB this year they stocked up their bowling options and sadly only Yuzvendra Chahal has managed to maintain some sanity whereas the likes of Chris Woakes and Umesh Yadav have proven to be a little too costly when they bowl.

Both extremely talented, power-packed teams looking to sort out issues on their own. One would assume if MI’s batting has a good day then they can take that confidence into their bowling and triumph against RCB. We will have to wait and watch as to how the match unfolds!

Here are 5 players to watch out for in this match between MI and RCB:

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli would be ruing the fact that he looked so good at the Chinnaswamy Stadium the other day against Rajasthan Royals but couldn’t convert his fifty into a bigger score. His team needed him to kick on and that would have probably got RCB over the line chasing 218.

A miscalculated pull shot ended his brilliance but knowing his work ethics and the high standards he sets for himself, now that he’s found his touch and form he will be looking to bat long and deep and not allow the fragile middle order to be exposed.

The focus although would be on Virat Kohli’s captaincy ahead of this clash against MI at the Wankhede stadium. Will he back Brendan McCullum to come good at the top of the order? Looking at how fragile the middle order looks will he tinker with his Indian batting options?


After the defeat against RR, one gets a strong feeling that ‘Baz’ would sit out to accommodate either Colin De Grandhomme or Tim Southee in the side. Both are good options but De Grandhomme can fill the void in the middle order with some clean hitting and also can bowl 2-3 overs easily.

With Pawan Negi not impressing with the bat or ball the other day, will Virat Kohli be keen on giving Manan Vohra an opportunity? He like Mandeep Singh can accelerate from the word go and his inclusion adds more solidity and balance to the team.

We will have to see what the skipper does as clearly there are a lot of pain points which needs addressing as far RCB are concerned. 

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