In-form MI take on pumped-up RR

Context

The last time we played Rajasthan Royals, they got out of jail thanks to a special cameo from K Gowtham. It seems not much has changed since April 22. On Friday night, Royals staged another remarkable comeback by defeating Chennai Super Kings with the help of a masterclass from Jos Buttler. With 10 points from 11 games, RR are on the same boat as Mumbai Indians. But thanks to our phenomenal 102-run win the other night, we have a superior net run-rate. The task at hand now, though, is to win another game and make it four in a row. Two weeks ago, we knew we had to win each of our last six games to make the playoffs. The boys have done exceedingly well to reach the ‘halfway’ stage of the challenge. It’s time to keep going. Refreshed after a day’s break, the boys are back on the training ground. The Wankhede Stadium is gearing up for a Super Sunday. Are you?

In The Spotlight

Mumbai Indians

It’s not often that you get to see a 21-ball 62. On Wednesday, Ishan Kishan batted like a man possessed. Among other things, he announced his arrival. The faithful at Wankhede are sure hoping for a Sunday special. How’s that?

Evin Lewis has had a stop-start season. Returns of 265 runs with the help of a solitary fifty don’t do justice to this precocious talent. It’s time for the left-hander to come into his own. Will Sunday be his day?

Rajasthan Royals

Jos Buttler goes into this match with four consecutive fifties to his name. The last of those — an unbeaten 95 off 60 — left Chennai Super Kings stunned. Simply put, MI have to get him early.

In six matches, Jofra Archer has picked up 11 wickets. He had starred with figures of 3/22 on his VIVO IPL debut against us in Jaipur. He was adjudged the Man of the Match in that game. The all-rounder has come a long way. It’s important we don’t let him thrive.

Key Clashes

Hardik Pandya vs Ben Stokes
When two of the world’s premier all-rounders meet, you ought to expect fireworks. And the best part is that we may get to see them bowl to each other. Stokes hasn’t exactly had a good season (185 runs and three wickets) — by his standards, that is — but Pandya is on a roll with 16 wickets and 188 runs to his name. This contest will make for absorbing viewing.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Ajinkya Rahane
Royals captain Rahane has scored just one fifty this season. The right-hander will hope to strike it rich at the Wankhede Stadium, his home ground. Standing in his way will be Bumrah. The right-armer has hit the right notes. And he will hope to pick up at least a wicket for the fifth match in succession.

Number Game

Head to Head
MI lead 10-7

Form Guide
MI: WWWLW
RR: WWLLL

Last 5 Matches
MI have won three of the last five encounters. RR won the last meeting in Jaipur on April 22, 2018.

 

 


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