Royal Challengers Bangalore are set to host Mumbai on Monday, May 14, 2012, in what is a crucial game for both teams.
With 10 wins likely to guarantee a place in the play offs, a win for RCB would leave them with nine wins and a draw from 14 games, while a win for Mumbai would get them their ninth from 14. A win could also help RCB leapfrog into 2nd place if it helped them to a better NRR than Kolkata.
RCB appear to have got their team composition right after taking the decision to bring in Muralitharan in place of skipper Vettori. The Sri Lankan legend could prove crucial against MI, along side resurgent Zaheer Khan and Vinay Kumar. Harshal Patel has also pulled his weight in recent matches (he got Tendulkar’s wicket in the last match between the sides).
RCB are arguably the strongest batting side, bar none, in this IPL. The likes of Gayle, Dilshan, De Villeirs and Kohli playing in the same team is likely to shake the confidence of the best bowling attack in the business.
That said, MI’s bowling has rescued them time and again during this tournament, though it is overly reliant on Malinga. If the Sri Lankan new ball operator were taken for runs, it would be half the battle won for RCB. And the best man to do it is Malinga’s teammate Dilshan.
MI’s batting came good in the last game with Rohit Sharma scoring a brilliant century to lay KKR low. That said, there is a fragility to the middle order that won’t be wished away quite so easily against a quality bowling attack such as RCB’s. The best outcome of the game against KKR, from MI’s perspective, was the induction of Gibbs as opener.
Playing before home supporters, RCB go into the game as favourites. But MI have a little more breathing space on the points table and the pressure will be the greater on the Bangalore squad. But a loss in the match could leave MI gasping to qualify as then , they would need to win both their remaining games, against KKR and RR, soemthing that’s easuer said than done.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.