IPL 2018, RCB vs MI match: Struggling Mumbai, Bangalore eye survival today

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In the 31st match of two popular but struggling sides — Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians (MI) will a crucial battle of prestige at Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium. RCB will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Mumbai Indians (MI), which have gathered pace after their win in the previous game against Chennai Super Kings. Both the teams are stacked at the bottom half of the , with 4 points each. Placed sixth and seventh respectively, and will take today’s match as a must-win encounter, since the losing side might find it difficult to get a shot at a play-offs berth.

Having beaten Chennai Super Kings in their adopted home ground of Pune, MI will go out with their tails up and confidence to take on the strong batting line-up of RCB, which has the likes of and Brendon McCullum. defeated at the Wankhede Stadium, with and Evin Lewis hitting 94 and 65, respectively. For MI, except Suryakumar Yadav, who has 274 runs under his belt in seven matches as an opener, others have been mostly inconsistent. also needs to find form as the India opener has struggled to get past 20 in five games. Big-hitting West Indian all-rounder Keiron Pollard, in his twilight years, has been out of form. He was dropped in the previous game. Jean-Paul Duminy, who came in for Pollard in the previous 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 requiring his services.

Coming to the Pandya brothers — Hardik and Krunal — who have been good in their bowling, would like to get big knocks with the bat. They have managed to score just 61 and 113 runs, respectively, in the seven matches they have played. Mumbai will again bank on young spinner Mayank Markande, who has so far bagged 10 wickets from seven games with his leg-spin, to deliver the goods.

On the other hand, for RCB, 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 they will have to play out of their skin to stay in the competition. RCB would be praying for the return of AB de Villiers, who did not play the previous game due to fever. The South African star has been in his 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. The spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar and seamers Chris Woakes and Umesh Yadav have done well in parts and need to bring their best in order to avoid another defeat which could endanger RCB's playoff chances.

Here are a few things to know before the vs (RCB vs MI) match to be played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, the two teams' players who could prove handy, and who has said what before the clash:

who might make an impact in today’s match against MI: and are the two-most accomplished batsmen in the RCB ranks; between them, they have scored more than half the runs scored by the team’s batsmen this season. Plenty more will be expected off them. Quinton de Kock looked good in bits and pieces and he must utilize his international experience to give RCB a perfect opening stand. In the absence of ABD Brendon McCullum did perform well in the previous match and will look to perform in the similar way. RCB needs their middle order to click and the onus is on Mandeep Singh and Colin de Grandhomme to give that stability in the middle order.

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers to look forward to today: Umesh Yadav, who has had extremely good days or awfully bad days, is RCB’s top wicket-taker this season; the pacer has had four exceptional matches, one modest outing, and two poor matches. RCB will need the experienced pacer, along with Tim Southee, to strike big on Tuesday night. The only RCB bowler who can claim to possess an economy rate of under 8 this season is YuzvendraChahal; the leg-spinner has 7 wickets from as many matches and an economy rate of 7.92.

who might make an impact in today’s match against RCB: Mumbai Indians have uncovered a gem in Suryakumar Yadav, who after establishing a reputation as a finisher, is revelling in his new role of opener. In his four innings as opener, the 27-year old has made scores of 53, 0, 72 and 34. Mumbai Indians will need more from the rest of their top four. Evin Lewis and Ishan Kishan have reputations of being destructive batsmen, but they haven’t fired consistently – despite batting ahead of Rohit Sharma, who has an outstanding record at the international level. With JP Duminy and Pandya brothers in the lower order Mumbai Indians will look to show up good performance against RCB.

Mumbai Indians bowlers to look forward to today: Almost all the MI bowlers will be licking their lips at the prospect of playing against RCB, for they’ve all had plenty of success against the RCB batsmen. Mitchell McClenaghan has an impressive record against –4 dismissals in 38 balls, while Krunal Pandya has AB de Villiers’ number, having dismissed him in 4 of the batsman’s last 5 innings against MI. More recently, when the Indian team visited South Africa earlier this year, JaspritBumrah (3) and Hardik Pandya (2) between them accounted for 5 of AB de Villiers’ 9 dismissals across the various formats.

Mumbai Indians' highest run-getter this IPL season, Suryakumar Yadav, said his captain is likely to bat higher up the order in the coming games. "It is his and team management's decision to come down the order. May be he wants to take more responsibility by playing till the end. But, he has been performing at all numbers – at one-down or two-down. In the last game, he came up and shouldered the responsibility. Obviously, in coming games we can see more of it," Suryakumar Yadav said.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli said they didn't deserve to win against Kolkata Knight Riders and blamed the sloppy fielding for their six-wicket loss which has jeopardised their IPL campaign. "If we look back, we didn't deserve to win. I don't think we're trying hard enough, we need to be hard on ourselves. We don't deserve to win if we field like that. We can't afford to field like that and let singles go to boundaries. We were just not good enough tonight."

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma believes their eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings will boost his side's confidence for the remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) matches. "Wanted this win desperately. In desperation, we didn't want to take decisions that won't go well. Wanted to stay calm. We've played good cricket. But that finishing touch wasn't happening," said the 30-year-old.

Impressed with leg-spinner Mayank Markhande's bowling for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, former India spinner Venkatapathy Raju praised him and termed control as the rookie's strongest point while also describing Sunrisers Hyderabad as having the best bowling attack. Markande, the main thing is (his) first year (and the) first match and they (MI) made him play which itself shows the talent he has. You have seen a lot of youngsters come in and they sit (out) for a year, then they are put in," Raju said.

How RCB and MI compare head to head in IPL matches played so far:

Overall

Matches played: 22
Royal Challengers Bangalore won: 8
Mumbai Indians won: 14

Among all the IPL teams, the Mumbai Indians have the most wins against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Some trivia ahead of today’s match against (RCB vs MI)

  • In the context of the history of the IPL, MI and RCB are the two most successful bowling sides. From all their matches in the eleven seasons so far, MI have taken a total of 1000 wickets – the only team to touch the four-figure mark, while RCB are a distant second with a tally of 918 wickets.
  • This is already Suryakumar Yadav’s most successful season in IPL; he has an aggregate of 274 runs in 7 innings so far. His previous best season aggregate was 182 runs (2016).
  • The average first innings total in the 5 VIVO matches in Bengaluru is 185; the team chasing has won 4 of these matches.