Win­less MI take on for­mi­da­ble RCB in high-volt­age clash

Millennium Post - - SPORT -

MUM­BAI: Win­less Mum­bai In­di­ans will pit their might against for­mi­da­ble Royal Chal­lengers Ban­ga­lore in an adren­a­line-charged In­dian Premier League match in west­ern In­dian state Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Mum­bai on Tues­day.

Both teams, with a plethora of ex­plo­sive bats­men, are yet to find their feet in the T20 league and would be keen to gather some mo­men­tum with a vic­tory in Mum­bai at the Wankhede Sta­dium.

If MI have their prob­lems to sort out, hav­ing lost at the death in all three games so far, RCB too have their own short­com­ings to ad­dress with only one win in three games under their belt.

Both the games held here so far have gone down to the wire and on both oc­ca­sions MI have had their chances to go across the line and fum­bled on the doorstep — against Chen­nai Su­per Kings in the sea­son opener and then Delhi Dare­dev­ils.

In be­tween they had also lost to Sun­ris­ers Hyderabad in their first away game of the sea­son, so that the three­time champions led by Ro­hit Sharma are placed at the bot­tom of the eight-team ta­ble.

MI had been in worse sit­u­a­tions be­fore re­cov­er­ing poise to be­come even­tual champions.

RCB started off on the los­ing note away from home to Kolkata Knight Riders, brought their cam­paign on track im­me­di­ately with a con­vinc­ing vic­tory over Kings XI Pun­jab at home and then lost a high­scor­ing game to Ra­jasthan Roy­als at home yes­ter­day.

RCB’S bowlers, es­pe­cially Umesh Ya­dav who had bro­ken the back of KXIP in­nings with a three-wicket burst in one over, went for plenty against the Roy­als who set up the high­est to­tal so far of the sea­son, 217, by rid­ing on Sanju Sam­son’s blis­ter­ing 45-ball 92 not out.

Af­ter the pace trio’s profli­gacy RCB need to set right their bowl­ing woes as MI pos­sess a strong bat­ting line up that threat­ened to score over 200 in their pre­vi­ous game be­fore the Dare­dev­ils bowlers re­stricted them be­low that thresh­old.

Bar­ring leg­gie Yuzven­dra Cha­hal, who bowled bril­liantly to grab 2 for 22, the other RCB bowlers had an off day against the Roy­als.

But on the pos­i­tive side was the en­cour­ag­ing re­turn to form of cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli who struck a quick-fire 57.

With a bat­ting line-up boast­ing of Bren­don Mccul­lum, Kohli and A B de Vil­liers, no tar­get will look in­sur­mount­able for the vis­i­tors, and three­time champions MI will be aware of this.

MI’S bat­ting, on the other hand, failed to rocket off in the first two games and when it clicked the bowlers lost the plot. The move to pro­mote lo­cal guy Suryaku­mar Ya­dav has been a suc­cess but their best bats­man, skip­per Ro­hit, is yet to make a big con­tri­bu­tion with the bat. The Pandya brothers — Hardik and Krunal — along with giant West In­dian Kieron Pol­lard too have not made big im­pacts in the first three games.


Chris Gayle in ac­tion

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