Two-time defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 24 of IPL 2021 on Thursday, 29 April at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi.
MI and RR have faced each other on 25 occasions during the history of the IPL, with each side winning 12 games apiece while one match ended with no result.
The Indians head into this contest on the back of two consecutive defeats against Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings, and will be looking to get their IPL 2021 campaign back on track with a win against a struggling RR side. MI are currently fourth in the IPL points table 2021, with four points from five outings.
Meanwhile, the Royals are on cloud nine after a well-deserved six-wicket victory over Punjab Kings in their previous IPL game. RR are tied on points with MI but hold seventh place because of their low net run rate.
In anticipation of this mouthwatering contest, we take a look at five players who could make a difference for their respective sides:
#1 Sanju Samson (RR)
RR skipper Sanju Samson played a crucial knock of 42* in their previous game, against the Punjab Kings, which helped facilitate a successful run chase. Among current Royals players, Samson is their highest run-scorer against the Mumbai Indians, with 485.
With his side in desperate need of a win, Samson is expected to lead from the front and deliver a special innings.
#2 Suryakumar Yadav (MI)
Suryakumar Yadav started his IPL season on a high but has failed to get going since, particularly in the last few matches. With the MI middle order struggling to score runs, there is an added responsibility on Yadav's shoulders, who will be hoping to get back in form and score consistently in the upcoming matches.
#3 Ishan Kishan (MI)
MI's Ishan Kishan has had a poor start to his IPL season. The young batsman has looked completely out of sorts and struggled to time the ball well. With the Indians playing at a new IPL venue, Kishan will be looking to step up and play a top knock for his side in the upcoming fixture against RR.
#4 Shreyas Gopal (RR)
Shreyas Gopal has a good chance to find himself in the RR playing XI owing to his excellent record against both MI openers. He has been particularly brilliant against Rohit Sharma in the IPL, with figures of 13 balls, 15 runs, and two dismissals, and he's fared even better against Quinton de Kock, conceding just 18 runs in 28 balls and dismissing him once.
#5 Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard is a veteran when it comes to the T20 format. Once he gets going, his hard-hitting abilities pose a formidable challenge for opposition bowlers. The West Indian all-rounder has a good track record against RR with 357 runs and 15 wickets to his name, making him the one to watch out for.