IPL 2021, MI vs RR: 3 reasons why the Rajasthan Royals lost

Sanju Samson wasn
Sanju Samson wasn't able to give RR the finish they needed.
Modified 29 Apr 2021

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) slipped to a fourth loss in six games in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) as they lost to a clinical Mumbai Indians (MI) side.

Entering the contest having won four of their last five games against MI, RR couldn't repeat the feat as the five-time champions prevailed despite some of their usual stars having a bit of an off day.

Put in to bat, RR got starts from their top three - including from the young Yashasvi Jaiswal - but couldn't quite carry on the momentum from there. They ended up with a score of 171 - eerily the same score batting first as the previous two IPL games.

In the run-chase, Rohit Sharma couldn't make it big. But his opening partner Quinton de Kock steered the chase with a steady 70, with contributions from Krunal Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard.

Here are the three main reasons why RR lost to MI on April 29.

#3 MI's punt with Jasprit Bumrah pays off

Although he missed out on wickets, Jasprit Bumrah was near his best with the ball.
Although he missed out on wickets, Jasprit Bumrah was near his best with the ball.

In the last few years, Jasprit Bumrah has been MI's relied-upon strike bowler and death bowler in tense games. He has typically bowled one-over spells in the middle and two overs at the end.

Against RR's top-heavy batting line-up, however, Rohit Sharma chose to use his best bowler twice during the powerplay to keep the likes of Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal in check.

The move worked very well, as Buttler was tied down in the powerplay before eventually being dismissed for 41 off 32. As the likes of Trent Boult and Jayant Yadav were smashed, Bumrah stood out in the powerplay with just 7 runs off his two overs. He finished with a stunning 1/15 from four overs.

#2 RR's muddled batting order decisions

Riyan Parag struggled in the finisher
Riyan Parag struggled in the finisher's role for RR.

RR have a stable top three of Jaiswal, Buttler and Sanju Samson, but the line-up from there on is less fixed. When RR lost the wicket of Jaiswal, they were in a very strong position, and could have sent the big-hitting David Miller in to capitalise.

Instead, all-rounder Shivam Dube, who sucked all momentum away with his 35 off 31 balls, was sent it. RR erred once more as they chose to send in Riyan Parag ahead of big-hitters Rahul Tewatia and Chris Morris. The result was a paltry 31 runs off their final four overs to cede the advantage to MI.

#1 Mustafizur Rahman's expensive outing with the ball

RR's pace attack has very little variety, and Mustafizur bore the brunt.

RR, with their foreign reserves crippled due to injuries and withdrawals, fielded three left-arm quicks against MI in the form of Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya and Mustafizur Rahman. Once an IPL star in the Sunrisers Hyderabad's run to the title in 2016, Mustafizur's stocks have fallen since then, in the tournament as well as internationally.

The tone was set from his first over, with De Kock taking 12 from four balls. Although he did pick up a wicket - that of the aggressive Krunal Pandya - it was too little, too late as he conceded 37 runs from 3.3 overs. The foreign player debacle RR face means they must play Mustafizur, and he let the team down in an important game.

Published 29 Apr 2021
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