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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 26 April 2013 - 10:23pm IST

Preview : Match 37 – MI vs RCB

MI look to cash in on RCB away record

What

Table-toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore clash with the Mumbai Indians in Match 37 of Pepsi IPL 2013.

The Mumbai Indians have four wins and three defeats so far this season. The team will be brimming with confidence after they clinched a nail-biter against the Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous outing. They will be keen to exploit RCB’s poor record in away games; the table-toppers have a 100% win record at home (six out of six) but have lost both their away matches so far – even if only by slender margins.

When

Saturday, April 27, 2013, 8 p.m

Where

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

The Protagonists

Though the Mumbai Indians have realised only 125 runs in seven innings from Sachin Tendulkar, they haven’t quite felt the pinch because their middle order looks to be in good touch. Dinesh Karthik may have gone of the boil in the last couple of games, but he continues to be an important cog in MI’s plans. Rohit Sharma, who captained MI in the previous match, too is an important member in MI’s batting plans. The two players from the Caribbean – Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard – play important roles at the top of the innings and at the death respectively.

One does not have to look beyond the towering frame of Chris Gayle in the RCB line-up. The Jamaican smashed his way into the record books with his unbeaten 175 in the previous match and snatched the Orange Cap from his skipper Virat Kohli, who too has been in tremendous form this season. Gayle’s pyrotechnics and Kohli’s run has meant AB de Villiers has not had too much to do this season – expect him to come to the party, if and when he gets the opportunity.

The hosts certainly have the edge in the bowling department – for reasons of variety and pace – even if numbers will show RCB bowlers have performed better this season. Mitchell Johnson getting the ball to swing back in has made him very dangerous. His face off with Gayle at the top could be an interesting battle. It will be also interesting to see if RCB can make room for one of Daniel Vettori or Muttiah Muralitharan so they can add variety to the attack.

Previous Meetings

The Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have won six matches apiece of the 12 times they’ve met previously. Both teams have got the better of the other at least once in the league phase in each of the past five seasons.

In the 2010 season, the Mumbai Indians defeated RCB by 35 runs in the semi-final match. When these two teams met on day two this season, RCB (playing at home) held their nerves to defend 156 and win by two runs.

Trivia

Mumbai Indians have a good record batting first this season; they’ve won three of the four matches they’ve batted first.

What Next

Both teams will next be seen in action on April 29. While the Mumbai Indians host Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s next stop will be Jaipur where they take on the Rajasthan Royals.

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