Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians have both had a poor start to their campaign in the Indian Premier League 2018. While the defending champions have lost a majority of their encounters closely in the last over or some even on the last ball of the match, the Royals have been dominated and outclassed owing to their dismal performances with both the bat and the ball. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, two of India’s finest batsmen and stand-by captains of the Test and the limited over format will be leading their teams in search of a win at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday. While Mumbai Indians will head into the game on the back of a much-needed victory against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Rajasthan Royals will be expecting to make amends from their terrible performance in the Chennai Super Kings loss.
Mumbai Indians after losing three straight games played their best cricket against Virat Kohli’s team to emerge as the eventual winners in a dominating fashion. Despite losing Suryakumar Yadav for a duck, Evin Lewis 65 (42) and Rohit Sharma 94 (52) played match-winning knocks for their team to power them to a staggering 213 in 20 overs. Coming into the chase, RCB kept losing wickets at regular intervals and despite skipper Virat Kohli slamming a half-century while remaining unbeaten fell short by 46 runs. Krunal Pandya was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai Indians and he will be called upon once again when Rohit Sharma faces off with Ajinkya Rahane at the Royals’ fortress.
For the Rajasthan Royals, the story has not been a good one either with the team managing just two wins in 5 games. They squared off their campaign with a shambolic defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening game but made a comeback to win the rain-affected encounter against Delhi Daredevils by 10 runs before winning their second successive game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore who they outclassed by 19 runs. They lost two successive games then against Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings, playing at home and away respectively. For the Rajasthan Royals, their inconsistent batting has been one of the major issues with the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson failing to deliver. Rahane has had good starts in the last couple of games but has failed to convert them into big scores.
Sanju Samson who showcased his brilliance with the bat against RCB with a magnificent 94 has since then remained silent. Openers D Arcy Short and Heinrich Klassen have both failed to impress. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes is still to hit is top game. Klaasen was played in place of Short in the game against CSK but he too failed to partner Rahane in the chase. Their bowlers have also misfired and have gone for runs consistently. Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham have been the two of the most successful bowlers but all their bowlers have not combined yet to put up a good show together.
Mumbai Indians bowlers have also been highly inconsistent but their batting prowess has helped the bowler by cushioning them well. Their spinners have been phenomenal with Krunal Pandya and Mayank Markande cutting of the work of other bowlers in the majority of games. Rohit Sharma found his touch back in the last game and will hope that his purple patch continues with Evin Lewis too looking to provide a good start on the top. Rajasthan Royals with 4 points from 5 games are currently placed 5th on the table while the Mumbai Indians are placed 6th with just one win from 4 games.
Rajasthan Royals: Heinrich Klassen, Benjamin Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Darcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.