Match 43 of IPL 2022 pits Rajasthan Royals (RR) against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium in Navi Mumbai. While the Royals are doing fine and are at the third position in the points table, Mumbai are yet to taste victory after eight attempts.
Both teams locked horns at this very venue earlier in IPL 2022 and it was RR who came out on top. Inserted to bat, a Jos Buttler century powered the Royals to 193/8 before their bowlers pulled off a successful defense to take the honors by 23 runs.
Given their form throughout the tournament and the manner in which they've successfully defended totals, the Royals enter the game as favorites. However, they should be wary of an MI outfit that has nothing to lose, and a two-paced pitch at the DY Patil Stadium.
Spin could have a big role to play and, with the boundary dimensions being long, it could come down to a battle between who bats more sensibly. On that note, we try predicting the three top run-scorers in tonight's IPL 2022 clash.
#1 Jos Buttler - Present Orange Cap holder in IPL 2022
With 499 runs from eight games and three centuries to boot, Jos Buttler has been in scintillating touch during IPL 2022 so far. You bet against him at your own peril, given how easy he has made batting look till now.
The law of averages is out of the way too, with Buttler enduring an off day against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) a few days ago. Moreover, he will be up against an opponent he fancies, averaging close to 70 against them, having piled a lot of misery on MI over the years.
KL Rahul did the double over Mumbai by stroking back-to-back hundreds against them this season. Given the struggles that the five-time champions have faced with the ball in hand, it may not be a stretch to back Buttler to do the same tonight.
#2 Suryakumar Yadav - MI's ray of hope
Life has been tough for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2022 but one man who has looked in seamless touch with the bat is Suryakumar Yadav. The right-hander missed the first couple of games for his team, including the earlier clash against RR, owing to a finger injury.
Since his return though, he has looked head and shoulders ahead of most of his teammates.
With 239 runs at an average of 47.80 and a strike-rate of 151.26, Suryakumar sits second on the list of run-scorers for MI this season with only Tilak Varma ahead of him. He has often been tasked with rescuing the Mumbai innings after a top-order collapse and more often than not, he has come up trumps with that task.
Suryakumar managed all of seven runs in the last game against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Against the RR spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, however, a lot will ride on his shoulders, if MI have to break its duck this season.
Expect the Mumbai lad to come out on top in that challenge, given his penchant for doing the needful under pressure. Consistency has never been an issue with him either and he is as bankable as they come, irrespective of the nature of the surface.
#3 RR skipper Sanju Samson
While RR skipper Sanju Samson hasn't taken the IPL 2022 season by storm as such, he has looked in ominous touch with the bat. So much so that he has scored more sixes (18) than fours (15) thus far.
Samson was tasked with reviving the Royals' innings against RCB in Pune. But a poorly executed reverse-sweep saw his off-stump rattled by Wanindu Hasaranga.
On what is expected to be another two-paced surface in Navi Mumbai, how Samson steps up against the slower bowlers will dictate how far RR go in the contest.
This could well be the time where Samson starts peaking with the bat and should it happen on Saturday, the Royals will not complain.
Expect it to transpire as well, given how pedestrian the Mumbai Indians' bowling attack has looked all season. Unless they get their plans right, a big one could well be on the cards from Sanju Samson.
Poll : Can MI finally open their account tonight in the game against RR?