Mumbai Indians’ mega-stars will be making one last ditch effort to put their derailed Indian Premier League 2021 campaign back on track when they take on a confident Rajasthan Royals in their penultimate league match on Tuesday.
The five-time champions were aiming for a hat-trick of titles but a poor show by their batters has led the team down and the title holders are they are yet to seal their last-four spot. In this backdrop, they face Rajasthan Royals, who stunned Chennai Super Kings with a superlative batting performance from two Mumbai men – Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube.
The equation is simple for both the teams.
They have to not only win both their matches but also have to win big so to boost their net run-rates. Royals currently have a net run-rate of -0.337 and MI, after a poor batting show against Delhi Capitals, are seventh at -0.453.
The loser on Tuesday could well be out of the tournament as KKR are already on 14 points with a positive NRR of +0.294.
Therefore even if Mumbai win against Rajasthan and then happen to thrash laggards Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final match to reach 14 points, there’s no guarantee that they would be able to go through.
KKR have won a very crucial game against SRH and even if they lose against Royals on the final day of the league stage, Morgan and his men would like to limit the damages in order to make it to the play-offs.
The onus will be on Rohit Sharma (341 runs), Suryakumar Yadav (222 runs), Quinton de Kock (297 runs) and Kieron Pollard (232 runs) to bring their A game to the fore for a big win. Hardik Pandya has just about found some form going his way and the Sharjah pitch showed signs of settling down during the Punjab Kings versus Royal Challengers Bangalore game, something that will make the stroke players of MI 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 blasted 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.
With PTI Inputs
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