Mumbai: Having beaten table-toppers Chennai Super Kings convincingly on Friday, Mumbai Indians will be high on confidence and aim to hold on to their spot among top-four when they take on a strong Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the return-leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
With five back-to-back wins, Mumbai are currently placed fourth in the standings with 12 points from 11 games, having won six and lost five, whereas RCB are placed one spot behind MI with 11 points from 10 games, with five wins and four losses.
The teams earlier met in the first-leg on April 19 where the Mumbai-based team came out victorious, beating RCB by 18 runs. Put in to bat, Mumbai posted a massive 209 runs on the board. RCB came close to the target but fell short, handing the visitors their first win of the season.
But Sunday will be a new day for the 2013 champions as the hosts will look to extend their winning streak after a sluggish start to the season.
In their last match against the CSK, the Rohit Sharma-led team was spot on in both their batting and bowling, winning by six wickets. After bowlers restricted CSK to 158, openers Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel displayed brilliant batting skills followed by late fireworks by Ambati Rayudu and Hardik Pandya which steered the team to a comfortable win.
On the other hand, RCB come into Sunday’s match with thumping 138-run victory over Kings XI Punjab. Riding on an explosive batting by Jamaican opener Chris Gayle, the team posted a massive 226. Later on some quality bowling by Mitchell Starc and Sreenath Arvind blew Kings XI away.
However, Mumbai’s Lasith Malinga will be joining the squad after missing out of the CSK game. With the Sri Lankan leading the bowling attack and Mithell McClenaghan, Harbhajan Singh, Vinay Kumar, Jagadeesha Suchith in fine form, the side looks strong on paper but they need to get rid off opposition opener Gayle as early as possible. If the West Indian gets going, it will be tough for the home side to even think of a win.
In their batting department — with openers Simmons and Patel — fire at the start, and someone chips in at the middle, there is not much to worry about. Whereas, batting being their main weapon, of late the RCB bowling has also clicked with Starc and Arvind proving economical. Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has also chipped for the men in red and gold.
Head-to-head, Mumbai have won nine and Bangalore six out of their last 15 encounters.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Colin Munro, Aditya Tare, Jasprit Bumrah, Marchant de Lange, Pawan Suyal, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Pragyan Ojha, Mitchell McClenaghan, Abhimanyu Mithun, Aiden Blizzard, Akshay Wakhare, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Hardik Pandya, Jagadeesha Suchith, Unmukt Chand, Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Ben Hilfenhaus.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, Harshal Patel, Vijay Zol, Abu Nechim, Sandeep Warrier, Yogesh Takawale, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rilee Rossouw, Iqbal Abdulla, Manvinder Bisla, Mandeep Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, Sreenath Aravind, David Wiese, Sarfaraz Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Shishir Bhavane.