IPL 2019, RR vs MI: Captaincy move that cost Mumbai the game
Jaipur hosted the 36th game of the season between Rajasthan and Mumbai. The Royals made a huge announcement before the game. They have appointed Steve Smith as their captain in place of Ajinkya Rahane for the remaining matches.
Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bowl first. It turned out to be a good decision as they removed Rohit Sharma early in the innings. It was the third time that Rohit Sharma got out to a spinner in his last three innings. Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav added 97 runs for the second wicket. The South African wicket keeper played another good innings for Mumbai. He was the aggressor in this partnership. Surya got out for 34 runs but had consumed 33 balls. It was sure that Mumbai needed a powerful finish.
Mumbai sent Hardik and Pollard ahead of Krunal but it did not pay off as Pollard suffered another failure in the season. Hardik tried hard but could not finish the innings the way he would have wanted. In the end, Mumbai completed 20 overs and scored 161 runs for the loss of 5 wickets.
Chasing a tricky target, Royals openers Samson and Rahane came out to bat. This is when Rohit missed a trick as he gave the opening two overs to Pandya brothers. Royals made use of this opportunity in the powerplay.
They smashed 24 runs in two overs and this flying start reduced the target drastically. Rohit had three strike bowlers in his lineup and he could have tried any one of them during first two overs to put Royals on the back foot.
Post this start, Chahar came and removed both the openers but it was too late as the home team got the start they wanted. Samson smashed 35 runs in 19 balls.
At one stage, the Royals were in a spot of bother when they lost two wickets in one over. But the partnership between Steve Smith and Riyan Parag ensured that they didn't face any more hiccups during the innings. Rajasthan Royals won the game by five wickets. This is the fourth consecutive time they have beaten Mumbai in IPL (twice in 2018 and twice in 2019).
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:44 IST