Defending champions Mumbai Indians will be eager to maintain their winning run in the business stages of the competition when they face off against the Rajasthan Royals in the 45th match of IPL 2020 at Abu Dhabi.
The two sides have endured contrasting fortunes in this edition of the IPL, with MI having one foot in the playoffs while the Royals face an uphill task of needing to win all their remaining games to challenge for a spot in the top four.
MI have put in a near-perfect show in this season, and with seven wins from 10 matches, Rohit Sharma's men look primed for a top-two finish. Their season opener loss to the Chennai Super Kings now is in the distant past, and with six wins from their last seven matches, MI look unstoppable.
The Royals, on the other hand, have failed to overcome quite a few roadblocks over the course of their last five games, winning only two of them and most recently were handed an 8-wicket pounding by the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The Royals' constant chopping and changing hasn't helped them either, and against a red-hot MI unit, the Steve Smith-led side will need to bring out more than just their A-game to have a shot at picking up two important points.
IPL 2020: RR v MI Match Prediction
The Royals have tried a whole lot of permutations and combinations with respect to both the batting and bowling units this season, but the most recent move to open with Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa has not worked well for them.
The Briton all-rounder has struggled to time the ball and pile on the runs, and one might see Jos Buttler coming back to open the batting for RR, although the latter has had a positive impact in the middle order for the Royals.
The bowling unit has bowled hot and cold though, and with just Jofra Archer producing consistent returns, RR's shortcomings might be exposed against a fiery MI batting unit.
As for MI, Ishan Kishan's promotion up the order proved rich dividends as the young southpaw demolished the CSK bowling unit and notched up his second half-century of the season.
With foreign import Quinton de Kock in the form of his life and seamer Trent Boult having collected his second Man of the Match award for the season courtesy of his 4/18 against the Super Kings, MI are undoubtedly in the driver's seat purely based on form.
Given the positions of both the teams on the IPL 2020 points table as well, it would be ill-advised for one to overlook MI's possible dominance in this match.
Prediction: MI to win today.Published 25 Oct 2020, 16:15 IST