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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 14 May 2013 - 11:10pm IST

Preview : Match 66 – MI vs RR

Can home advantage see MI to top two?

What

Undefeated at home, victories in the last four matches, qualified for the Pepsi IPL 2013 Playoffs, thumping victories in the previous match – all things common for Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals – the two teams that clash in Match 66 of Pepsi IPL 2013. 

In their previous match, MI pulled off what looked like an improbable run chase against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, while RR caused an upset in their previous match when they chased down 142 to defeat the Chennai Super Kings.

Whichever of the two teams walks away with the two points in this match will have taken a step closer to finishing among the top two places in the standings.

When

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 8 p.m

Where

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

The Protagonists

Just how valuable a player is Kieron Pollard? The Mumbai Indians all-rounder answered the question in style the other day, powering his team to what at one point looked an improbable run-chase. The focus will certainly be on the Trinidadian after that special effort. But the ones who have steadily scored the runs for MI are their skipper Rohit Sharma (who in the previous match played perfect second fiddle with Pollard going all guns) and Dinesh Karthik who has consistently scored runs batting at number three.

Man to man, Rajasthan Royal might not be too much of a match for the Mumbai Indians. However, what has worked for the team is that every individual has played their part to near perfection. The three most important batsmen central to RR’s plans are skipper Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson.

Mumbai Indians score over their opponents in the bowling department too – for reasons of class and variety. In Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Pragyan Ojha & Harbhajan Singh, MI have four bowlers who’ve had a lot of success at the international level. RR meanwhile have relied largely on James Faulkner to get them early breakthroughs.

Previous Meetings

Overall, RR & MI have met 11 times (including the one abandoned fixture) and both teams have won five matches apiece.

Mumbai Indians will remember the 87-run defeat they received at the hands of the Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur earlier this year. That defeat is Mumbai Indians’ biggest defeat in the IPL.

Trivia

The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai has been a high-scoring venue this season. Only once in seven matches has the team batting first posted under 150. The average first innings total in matches played there this season is 178.

What Next

Mumbai Indians will finish their Pepsi IPL 2013 league season with a trip to Dharamsala where they take on Kings XI Punjab on May 18. Rajasthan Royals meanwhile head to Hyderabad (to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 17) for their final league fixture of the season.

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