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Preview: M31 - MI vs RCB

RCB will look to build on their solitary win this season when they take on the MI in Match 31

What

Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to build on their solitary win this season when they take on the Mumbai Indians in Match 31 of VIVO IPL 2019.

After losing six straight matches, the Royal Challengers opened their account in their previous match against Kings XI Punjab. It wasn’t the most perfect performance, but it was still enough for RCB to get their first points on the board. The Royal Challengers were at times sloppy in the field and with the ball, but in pursuit of 174, they came out all guns and got past the finish line. The smiles had certainly returned to the RCB dugout after the win against KXIP, and they will now look to build on the confidence from that win. The equation for RCB is pretty much the same it was prior to their previous match; for them to progress to the playoffs, they need to win at least six of their remaining seven matches.

The Mumbai Indians meanwhile will be hurting from their defeat at home to the Rajasthan Royals. Despite the openers providing them a good start, MI slowed down a bit in the middle overs, and finished about 15-20 runs short of what they should have got. MI didn’t find the early success with the ball, and Jos Buttler played yet another special innings to set up the chase for the Rajasthan Royals.

MI missed the services of Lasith Malinga in that match; they chose Alzarri Joseph as their third quick, and the youngster had a disappointing outing – conceding 53 runs in his three overs. It is likely MI will go back to the experienced Sri Lankan – particularly given the psychological edge he holds over RCB after bowling an exceptional last over when the two teams last met.

Despite the win, the Royal Challengers will be aware that they haven’t found the perfect combination yet; they have a weak middle-order and their pace bowling attack needs to improve their game. Tim Southee or Kulwant Khejroliya (if fit and available for selection) are options worth exploring.

When

15 April 2019, 8pm IST

Where

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Previous Match XIs:

Mumbai Indians:Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Alzarri Joseph, JaspritBumrah, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendorff.

Royal Challengers Bangalore:Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj.

Protagonists

MI’s middle order had done plenty of damage and hidden . But now moving into the second half of the season, MI need the big guns at the top to start firing. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock responded in the previous match, and MI will want to them make habit of stitching big partnerships at the top. MI have issues to address on the bowling front – and they would be considering bringing back Lasith Malinga into the side.

The two individuals capable of influencing RCB’s fortunes are Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers; the pair scored half-centuries in the previous match, and not surprisingly their team ended up winning.Just looking at the body language, both players appeared pretty relaxed, and that can only be good signs for RCB.

Head to Head in Indian Premier League

Overall: Matches – 24,Mumbai Indians – 15, Royal Challengers Bangalore –9.

In Mumbai since 2013: Matches – 6, Mumbai Indians – 5, Royal Challengers Bangalore – 1.

The last time these two teams met at the Wankhede Stadium, the two captains starred for their respective teams. First, Rohit Sharma, after walking out to bat at 2 for 0, scored 94 from 52 balls to power the Mumbai Indians to 213 for 6. When it was RCB’s turn to chase, Virat Kohli opened the innings and held his end up; however, his 92 not out wasn’t enough to take his team to a win. Mumbai Indians won that match by 46 runs!

Trivia

The average first innings total in the last 13 IPL matches at the Wankhede Stadium is 178.

Pacers have taken 39 of the 48 wickets to have been picked up by bowlers in VIVO IPL 2019 matches at the Wankhede Stadium.

Rohit Sharma needs 40 runs to complete 8000 runs in T20 cricket.

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