Mumbai Indians are set to host Rajasthan Royals, match 12 of IPL 5, on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Ahead of the game, MI have some batting worries to address, having had two collapses in as many games.
In their last two matches against PW and DC, MI made heavy weather of chasing small tagets and but for a lone battle by Rohit Sharma, should have lost against DC.
In the absence of the injured Sachin Tendulkar, MI’s top order have struggled and the loss of early wickets has hurt the side. That said, MI’s bowlers have done a splendid job, restricting the rival batsmen to low totals in all three games played so far, with Munaf Patel the pick of the bowlers, and Malinga as threatening as ever.
Tendulkar looks set to miss the game against RR, with his injured finger yet to heal completely, and the team’s main concern is selecting the right pair to open the innings, with both Rayudu and Suman failing to set the stands on fire. Levi, whose whirlwind knock against CSK in the tournament opener won him the MOM award and his side the game, has failed to impress since then.
Pollard versus Cooper will be an interesting rivalry between West Indian all-rounders, when MI take on RR, with both players striking form with bat and ball alike.
RR will also consider Mumbai-bred Rahane and Chavan as assets when they visit Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. Rahane fell two runs short of a century in his first game and with Dravid also in fine form, the RR openers will look forward to another fruitful game against MI.
RR have hosted and won two games and their first match on the road will be a test of their winning temperament, and their bowlers, especially, will be under pressure against a strong MI batting line-up. Menaria and Hodge in the RR middle-order could prove crucial to their fortunes on the day, after the pair guided their side to a match winning total of 164 against KKR.
Chavans slow left arm spin, along with Botha’s off spin, has contributed to a fine bowling performance so far by RR, with Cooper, Trivedi and Amit Singh standing up to be counted when it mattered.
Tied on points, RR are ahead of MI on the table, owiung to a better net run-rate, and they would want to conintue their winning momentum at the Wankhede. That said, MI have the clear edge, given their home advantage and their more penetrative bowling attack.
MI’s probable eleven: Suman, Levi, Sharma, Rayudu, Pollard, Karthik, Franklin, Harbhajan, Malinga, Ojha, Patel.
RR’s probable eleven: Dravid, Rahane, Goswami, Menaria, Hodge, Shah, Cooper, Botha, Chavan, Singh, Trivedi.
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