The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) has reached its business end and yet, somehow, no team has mathematically been guaranteed qualification to the playoffs as of yet. A win tonight would leave either the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) or the Mumbai Indians (MI) one step away from the IPL 2020 playoffs.
Both teams come into this game on the back of defeats to teams in the bottom half of the points table. While RCB lost to the eighth-placed Chennai Super Kings, MI were undone by an incredible century from Ben Stokes against the Rajasthan Royals.
After the Delhi Capitals’ defeat to the Sunrisers Hyderabad last night, a victory here could be crucial in taking the winner closer to a top two finish, and a place in the first Qualifier for a direct entry into the final.
That said, the IPL is as unpredictable as they come. Take the last time these two teams faced off, for example. Some incredible late hitting from AB de Villiers and Shivam Dube took RCB to a more-than-competitive 201/3.
With 80 required off the last 24 balls, the match seemed done and dusted. But Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard took matters into their own hands, and a late charge from the duo forced the game into a Super Over. The Bangalore franchise would win the tiebreaker, but MI had done enough to bring their campaign back to life, and now they find themselves at the top of the table.
With much to prove on either side and a place in the first qualifier match to stake claim on, this Mumbai v Bengaluru match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium could prove to be a belter.
IPL 2020: MI v RCB Match Prediction
Devdutt Padikkal got his IPL career off to a flyer, with three fifties in his first four matches, including one against the Rohit Sharma-led team the last time the two sides faced off. While it would be harsh to call him a failure since, Padikkal has struggled to convert his starts into half-centuries since the last of those fifties, and the young southpaw will be raring to get a big score to his name once again.
Another youngster that impressed in that last match between RCB and MI was young Ishan Kishan, who scored a blistering 99 to take the Mumbai franchise to a breath away from an unbelievable comeback victory. While Kishan has not fired too often since, his 37-ball 68 partnering Quinton de Kock at the top in Rohit’s absence would have encouraged the MI team management.
No team ends up at the top of the IPL 2020 points table without the right bowling resources, of course. For MI, their premier fast-bowling duo of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah have accounted for 33 wickets between them, whereas Rahul Chahar has also contributed with 13 wickets of his own.
The trio have consistently made life difficult for the opposition batsmen in this year’s edition of the IPL, picking up wickets at will almost.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli’s side have benefited once again from the services of the wily Yuzvendra Chahal, who has 16 wickets to his name this term. RCB also boast of a support cast that includes the likes of Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini, who is yet to do as well as he would have liked at IPL 2020.
The Mumbai Indians have missed the services of skipper Rohit Sharma in the past couple of matches. While it is still unclear as to whether India’s embodiment of lazy elegance will have a role to play tonight, the MI social media team did put out a video that showed Rohit taking on the bowlers in the nets, suggesting that the Mumbai team may just have their captain back for the big match against RCB.
In case Rohit does not make fitness in time for the game, it could well come down to who wins the battle between RCB’s batting and MI’s bowling. And while AB de Villiers and Padikkal have both proved their worth in this year’s IPL, Virat Kohli too has shown signs of being back to his best after an ordinary start to the tournament.
But will that be enough to knock over the top two ODI bowlers in the world at the moment? Only time can tell. However, given MI’s superior 16-10 head-to-head record in league phase fixtures between the two sides, it is difficult to bet against the four-time IPL champions.
Prediction: MI to win today’s IPL match.Published 28 Oct 2020, 12:56 IST