Bengaluru: Struggling sides Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will have a fight for survival when they lock horns in an Indian Premier League here on Tuesday.
Having beaten Chennai Super Kings in their adopted home ground in Pune, MI will go out with their tails up with confidence to take on a strong batting line-up of RCB, which has the likes of Virat Kohli and Brendon McCllum.
On the other hand, the heartbreaking back-to-back defeats at the hands of CSK and Kolkata Knight Riders in their backyard would have devastated the team’s confidence, but RCB will have to play out of their skins to stay in the competition.
It has been an almost identical journey for both teams so far. Mumbai and Dinesh Karthik-led KKR have managed just two wins in seven matches each, but the visitors are ahead at sixth place due to better net run rate.
Whichever team that loses on Tuesday will find it more difficult to get a shot at a play-offs berth. Mumbai would like to take a cue from their last encounter against RCB, which they had won by 46 runs at the Wankhede Sadium with Rohit Sharma and Evin Lewis hitting 94 and 65 respectively.
Barring Suryakumar Yadav, who has 274 runs under his belt in seven matches as an opener, most of the Mumbai batsmen have been inconsistent. Captain Rohit, who has failed to get past 20 runs in five games, will try to play yet another impactful innings.
The team would like Rohit, who has scored 196 runs in seven matches, to bat either one-down as he did in the last game or open the innings to give the much needed time for him to settle down at the crease.
Pandya brothers — Hardik and Krunal — who have been good in their bowling would like to get a big knocks with the bat as they have managed to score just 61 and 113 runs in seven-odd matches they have played.
JP Dumminy, who came in for Kieron Pollard in the last game, would be itching to be in the thick of things. The South African did not bat in the last match as Mumbai crossed the winning mark without his services.
Mumbai also have been struggling with the ball as they have failed to prosper as a unit. Young Mayank Markande has been a revelation for them and has bagged 10 wickets from seven games with his leg-spin.
Death-over specialist Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman have bagged seven and six wickets respectively so far, and if Mumbai want to restrict the likes of Kohli and McCullum, they will have to play their role to perfection.
On the other hand, RCB are struggling at seventh position after two wins and five defeats. RCB would be praying for the return of AB de Villiers, who did not play the last game due to fever. The South African star has been in prime form this season, smashing 68 off 30 balls against CSK and singlehandedly defeating Delhi Daredevils with his unbeaten 39-ball 90.
Kohli would be keen to produce another special knock in this crunch situation, especially after getting two unbeaten knocks of 92 and 68 against Mumbai and KKR, respectively.
Opener Quinton De Kock, who has scored 194 runs so far, would like to carry on with his good performance.