Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore would be looking to address their pace-bowling concerns when they face defending champions Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League here on Monday. RCB started on a winning note but then their star-studded team collapsed against Kings XI Punjab, resulting in a humbling 97-run defeat.
After scores of 14 and 1, Kohli is due for a big one and would be itching to spend more time in the middle.
Opener Devdutt Padikkal, who started his IPL career with a classy half-century, did not do much against KXIP and will be aiming for consistency.
Australian limited overs captain Aaron Finch would be hoping to convert starts into match-winning performances while AB de Villers, who has looked in good touch, will be expected to provide the late fireworks again with the lower-order not inspiring a lot of hope.
It is still not clear whether RCB will have the services of South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who sat out of the first two games due to a side strain.
In the bowling department, Yuzvendra Chahal, as always, will be the key man with pacers, barring Navdeep Saini, leaking runs.
Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav have proved expensive so far. The South African great is likely to retain his place in the playing eleven but the same can’t be said about Yadav, who could make way for Mohammad Siraj.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali will be a welcome addition to the middle-order but with Josh Phillippe keeping wickets regularly, he can only replace Steyn.
Mumbai Indians, who ticked all the boxes in their comfortable win against Kolkata Knight Riders, are unlikely to tinker with their team composition.
The biggest positive is that skipper Rohit Sharma is back among the runs and looked in ominous touch against KKR, and so did Suryakumar Yadav.
The only change that the team can make is bring in Ishan Kishan in place of the bulky Saurabh Tiwary.
Apart from their batting prowess, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard can jointly perform the role of an additional bowler, but MI coach Mahela Jayawardane has made it clear that they don’t want to take any risks with Hardik, who is playing after a long break following a back injury.
Another positive for the defending champions is that pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah roared back to form after a rare failure against Chennai Super Kings.
James Pattinson and Kiwi Trent Boult played their parts to perfection and they would be keen to continue in the same vein.
Teams (From): Royal Challengers Bangalore: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Josh Philippe, Pawan Negi, Pavan Deshpande, Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton De Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult....