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IPL 2019, RCB v MI: 5 key battles to watch out for

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:20 IST

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

RCB vs MI is perhaps one of the most intense rivalries in the IPL. And as RCB prepare to host MI tomorrow, there might be an extra spice to the match as both the teams are coming in after having lost their first match of IPL 2019.

RCB had a nightmarish start to their campaign as they were bundled out for just 70 runs by the defending champions Chennai Super Kings, whereas Mumbai Indians have not won their opening match of the season since the year 2013. MI are the perennial slow starters of the IPL, which puts a lot of pressure on them in the latter part of the season.

MI would look to make their life easy this season by getting an elusive early win. On the other hand RCB, who did not have a good time at Chinnaswamy Stadium last year, would look to make amends and win as many home games as possible 

Expected playing XI: RCB

Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Colin De Grandhomme, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj

Expected playing XI: MI

Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah

Here are five key battles that could determine the result of the match:

1. Virat Kohli v Jasprit Bumrah

This is perhaps the biggest battle of all which was even hinted at before the IPL started. It is the clash between the number one batsman, Virat Kohli, and number one bowler of the world Jasprit Bumrah.


Both Kohli and Bumrah didn't exactly have the best time in their first match, and would be eager to bounce back. They would look to target each other as they are the key players of their respective teams.

2. Rohit Sharma v Yuzvendra Chahal

We all know the importance of Rohit Sharma to the Mumbai Indians team. Last year they didn't qualify for the playoffs as Rohit had an underwhelming season and scored just 286 runs.

One of the weaknesses of Rohit is facing quality leg spin bowling. RCB's premier spinner Yuzvendra Chahal would certainly want to exploit that weakness.

3. Shimron Hetmyer v Mayank Markande

RCB's new recruit did not have an ideal debut as he was run out for a duck. He would be eager to put up a good show for the home fans.

Hetmyer will face a good challenge from the young spinner Mayank Markande, who is likely to get a chance in the playing XI after sitting out the first match.

4. AB de Villiers v Lasith Malinga

Mumbai have got a boost with the availability of the veteran Lasith Malinga after he initially pulled out of the first 6 matches of the tournament. Malinga would be eager to show the world that he has still got a sting in his bowling, and would look to stop AB de Villiers who is very destructive in the death overs.

5. Quinton de Kock v Umesh Yadav

This is perhaps not a high profile battle, but the player who dominates this clash can exert plenty of influence on the match. Umesh Yadav had a good season for RCB last year and he took plenty of wickets at the top.

He would look to replicate that form in his quest for a spot in the World Cup team. On the other hand, Quinton de Kock would be eager to perform against his former franchise.

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Published 28 Mar 2019, 02:14 IST
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