IPL 2019, Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals: Match preview
The first match of the double-header Saturday in the ongoing season of the IPL will be played between the high flying Mumbai Indians and the struggling Rajasthan Royals as the MI look all set to take on RR at the Wankhede Stadium after their miraculous win over Kings XI Punjab.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, comes into this fixture after a heart-breaking last ball defeat in the hands of the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings. Even after finding themselves at the 2nd position from the bottom, the Ajinkya Rahane led side has been competitive in all their matches barring one.
However, being competitive is one thing and knowing the art of crossing the line is other, which Mumbai seems to know better than any other side (as they keep clinching victories from the doors of defeat) and having won its last 3 matches will enter this fixture as a clear favourite.
Thus, it will be interesting to see how the two Mumbaikars lead their respective sides in this all-important fixture, especially for the visitors as one more defeat can end its playoff hopes.
The Mumbai Indian's skipper Rohit Sharma has been declared fit by the management and looks all set to lead the side once again.
Also, Lasith Malinga is well rested after his stint in Sri Lanka, thus, the management has the whole squad to chose from.
Rajasthan, though do not seem to have any injury concerns, have selection dilemma of their own. Playing Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi and Steven Smith in the same XI has found them wanting when quick runs are the need of the hour.
Thus, it will be interesting to see whether the team management takes some bold decisions to play Ashton Turner in place of Steven Smith or play with the same XI.
While Mumbai Indians enjoy a slightly better record, Rajasthan Royals has been a tough nut to crack for the Mumbai Indians and they missed the playoff spot last year only due to their inability to beat Rajasthan even once out of the two chances they had.
However, MI hold a slight advantage as they will be playing at the Wankhede stadium where they enjoy a stronghold over the Royals from Rajasthan.
Overall: Matches – 21, Mumbai Indians – 11, Rajasthan Royals–09.
At the Wankhede Stadium: Matches – 6, Mumbai Indians – 4, Rajasthan Roya– 2
Mumbai Indians had a forced change in their previous encounter with Siddhesh Lad replacing injured Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. However, Rohit Sharma has been declared fit by the management and will definitely come back into the XI.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, in all likelihood will play the same XI even after their last-ball defeat against CSK.
However, given the high scoring nature of the venue, the RR think-tank might look to play Krishanappa Gowtham in place of Riyan Parag to add the much-needed firepower down the order.
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Joseph, Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendorff
Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler (WK), Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Riyan Parag/ Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
Date: 13 April 2019
Time: 10:30 AM GMT, 4:00 PM IST
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai