Face Off : RCB Vs Mumbai Indians
IPL’s two heavyweights Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians will face-off on Thursday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Both teams have shown promise but fell short of the final hurdle in the previous editions.
Mumbai Indians have an unblemished record against RCB at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Mumbai Indians have played four matches in the Garden City and have won each one of them. Overall, they hold a 6-5 edge over the RCB. Although, Mumbai Indians will have to be wary of just one factor – the hard hitting Chris Gayle. Getting Chris Gayle early will be the key for Mumbai Indians.
It would be interesting to see who will come out to open with Sachin Tendulkar. Ricky Ponting, the new captain of Mumbai Indians side, said though anybody could do so, the team management would decide on Thursday closer to the toss, after assessing the weather, the pitch condition.
"Anybody can open with Sachin depending upon weather and pitch conditions. We could end up playing a shorter game as it has been raining here during the past days, but not Wednesday. Keeping this in mind, we will decide on the opening combination before toss," the skipper observed.
Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard would be the usual key pillars in the Mumbai middle order and will hope to continue from where they left in IPL 5. Dinesh Karthik behind the wickets will be another key Indian in the Mumbai line-up.
On the bowling front, Lasith Malinga will miss the opener due to sore back, so Pragyan Ojha and Munaf Patel look first-choice picks in the playing XI as they bring stability and balance to the line-up. Although the skipper didn’t specify replacement for Malinga, he did mentioned that anyone among Jacob Oram, Mitchell Joshson can take up that position.
On the other hand, RCB’s main worry is the bowling line-up. Without AB de Villiers and Zaheer Khan, Kohli is likely to playing Daniel Christian alongside Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar. But considering the absence of de Villiers and the inexperience of Arun Karthik, Dilshan may be asked to perform the role of wicketkeeper-batsman. The RCB spin department relies on the wily veterans Muttiah Muralitharan and Daniel Vettori, who remain the key to their fortune this season.