MI looks to seal play-off berth with 20 points
Being the last match of IPL’s league stage starting today at 8:00pm in Jaipur, Mumbai Indians, even though they have made it to the play-offs, have a lot to play for and close the gaps in their batting line-up.
A win against the Rajasthan Royals here would ensure them not only 20 points but will also give them a lot of confidence and back to winning ways. Mumbai Indians are well aware that their opponent Rajasthan Royals, who are already eliminated from the league, will play for the pride in front of their home ground at Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Rajasthan Royals also have one more reason to play hard today to giving a fitting farewell to their captain Rahul Dravid. The former India star is unlikely to return to the IPL next season.
Rajasthan hit the road quite well this season, beating quite a few heavy weights. Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane have mostly anchor their innings throughout the season. However, a downward spiral was put in place by the lack of support for the top order and the inability of the bowlers to regularly bowl sides out. The previous match, and one that Rajasthan needed to win to stay alive, was an example of the team’s muddled season: they could only manage 126 for 8 after electing to bat on a track which had turn and bounce and then failed to apply pressure on Deccan Chargers’ top order.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians haven’t had an exceptional season so far. Though they have shown mettle in winning couple of close games, but consistency is the cause of worry in the camp.
It is hot and windy in Jaipur, with the occasional sand storm in the evenings in the last two days, something which could trouble the Mumbai Indians players. However, the wicket appears to be helpful for batting, something that Tendulkar, Pollards and Rohit Sharma would enjoy.