IMAGE: Mumbai Indians’ openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. Photograph: BCCI
Mumbai Indians’ mega-stars will be making one last ditch effort to put their derailed Indian Premier League campaign back on track when they take on a confident Rajasthan Royals in their penultimate league match in Sharjah on Tuesday.
The five-time champions were aiming for a hat-trick, which would be a first in IPL’s 14-year-history, but poor show by their batsmen has led the team down. The wrinkles on Rohit Sharma’s forehead and the grumpy look on his face are telling a tale that is unheard of in the Mumbai Indians contingent till now.
And in this backdrop, they will take on Rajasthan Royals, who stunned Chennai Super Kings with a superlative batting performance from two Mumbai men — Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube.
Royals currently have a net run-rate of -0.337 and Mumbai Indians, after a poor batting show against Delhi Capitals, are seventh at -0.453, with both teams on 10 points from 12 games.
The equation is simple for both the teams.
They have to not only win both their matches but also have to win big so that their poor net run-rates are taken care of.
IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson. Photograph: BCCI
Hence, Rohit (341 runs), Suryakumar Yadav (222 runs), Quinton de Kock (297 runs) and Kieron Pollard (232 runs) need to bring their ‘A’ game to the fore for Mumbai Indians.
Hardik Pandya has just about found some form going his way. the Sharjah pitch showed signs of settling down during the Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore match, something that will make the stroke players of Mumbai Indians happy.
The Royals bowling attack, with Mustafizur Rahaman as their most experienced overseas signing, is a bit thin on experience.
It remains to be seen how the likes of Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur and the rest of the bowlers stop the heavy artillery firing expected from the Mumbai ranks.
Similarly, Jasprit Bumrah, along with Trent Boult and Rahul Chahar, will have the job cut out against the opening pair of Jaiswal and Evin Lewis, who literally butchered the Chennai attack which didn’t have Deepak Chahar and Dwayne Bravo in their ranks.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (captain), Liam Livingstone, Evin Lewis, David Miller, Chris Morris, Oshane Thomas, Mustafizur Rahaman, Tabraiz Shamsi, Glenn Phillips, Chetan Sakariya, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Akash Singh, Anuj Rawat, KC Cariappa, Yashashvi Jaiswal , Shivam Dube, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, Mayank Markande, Jaydev Unadkat, Kuldip Yadav, Mahipal Lomror.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Anukul Roy, Simarjeet Singh, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Neesham, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Marco Jansen, Yudhvir Singh, Adam Milne, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult.
Match starts at 7.30pm IST.