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HomeCricketIPL 14th Match Preview: Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore

IPL 14th Match Preview: Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2018

Did you have both Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore finishing in the top four come season’s end? Or at least one? I certainly did.

While it is still too early for “must-win” territory, it’s time MI and RCB start winning consistently. RCB sit above MI right now, but have been completely unconvincing again, whereas MI could easily be sitting on three wins out of three. Instead, defending champions MI sit rock bottom, four points outside the top four, and the only team who hasn’t yet won a match. Such has been Mumbai’s tournament so far that out of all teams with a negative Net Run Rate, Mumbai’s is the best, despite losing all their games.

Mumbai Indians are certainly close to getting over the line, and you get the feeling that once they win their first game, they’ll go on a good run. They would have been disappointed in their last outing against DD to not even reach 200 considering the position they were in, but against an RCB team that continues to ignore the importance of good team balance, MI have a good chance in kickstarting their season. With three close losses defending totals, will they be fourth time lucky?

Mumbai Indians IPL 2018 Cricket Blog
Story of MI…

Royal Challengers Bangalore once again leave plenty to be desired. They were poor at the death against RR, conceding 88 off the last five overs, and once AB de Villiers was dismissed, the chase was all but over. Despite the disappointing result, RCB and India would have been extremely encouraged by the performance of youngster Washington Sundar, who went for just 30 in four overs out of a total of 217, and hit a 19-ball 35 to add some sort of respectability to the result for RCB. Will they make changes to their side, in a quest to consign Mumbai to four straight defeats? Or will it be the same old story?

Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2018 Cricket Blog
Story of RCB…

Key to a Mumbai Indians win

MI have had no luck with the toss three times in a row, and have found themselves defending a total each time. On each occasion, they lost in the last over of the match (19.5, 20 and 20), and have been on the end of some incredible performances – particularly Dwayne Bravo and Jason Roy.
The main problem with MI has been the collective performance with the ball. Against DD, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman and Krunal Pandya conceded just 73 runs between them in 11 overs. The remaining nine from the other bowlers saw 121 runs plundered. 
In an attempt to solve the third seamer conundrum, Mumbai brought in Akila Dananjaya in conjunction with the return of Hardik Pandya. Both were very expensive and wicketless, so MI could re-look their strategy. Adam Milne has replaced the injured Pat Cummins in the squad, so could he be the missing piece to the bowling puzzle? 
Whatever combinations MI decide to go with, their key to victory is to produce a bowling effort where pressure is being built as consistently as possible from both ends, with no bowlers having to work harder to pick up the slack from others. Against a strong RCB top order, this is vital.

Key to a Royal Challengers Bangalore win

Surely RCB need to make changes. I truly believe an all-rounder in the middle of the order could do wonders for them, for two reasons. 
Firstly, all of Colin de Grandhomme, Corey Anderson and Moeen Ali have striking ability, and are potentially good finisher options that RCB desperately need. With Chris Woakes capable with the bat, and Washington Sundar in good touch, a strong all-rounder in the middle can actually result in RCB taking advantage of the platform their top order typically provides.
Secondly, all these three all-rounders can play that vital sixth bowler role. It gives Virat Kohli an extra option to turn to if things aren’t going right, and increases the chances of more “quiet” overs as a result. Pawan Negi was tried as the sixth bowler against RR, going for 13 off his over, and struggled 
with the bat. 
However, I expect RCB to stay stubborn and persist with their strategy. If they do, they need big performances from at least a couple of their bowlers, as well as their top order firing.

Predicted teams:

MI in the last game dropped Rohit Sharma down the order, and they were rewarded with a very fast first 15 overs. After 15.4 overs, they were sitting at 166/3 and if they can repeat this sort of effort, they’ll be well placed to beat an RCB side that relies heavily on the top four. Also, should Adam Milne replace Akila Dananjaya? This could depend on the conditions at Wankhede.
Mumbai Indians XI: 1. Evin Lewis, 2. Suryakumar Yadav, 3. Ishan Kishan (wk), 4. Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, 6. Krunal Pandya, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Mayank Markande, 9. Akila Dananjaya/Adam Milne, 10. Mustafizur Rahman, 11. Jasprit Bumrah
If I were RCB, I’d leave out Brendon McCullum and choose an all-rounder who can add important impact to the middle order, as well as bowl overs. McCullum could prove me wrong and score really big, but in terms of team balance, an all-rounder would help more. They will probably pick an unchanged team.
Royal Challengers Bangalore XI: 1. Quinton de Kock (wk), 2. Brendon McCullum, 3. Virat Kohli (c), 4. AB de Villiers, 5. Mandeep Singh, 6. Pawan Negi, 7. Washington Sundar, 8. Chris Woakes, 9. Umesh Yadav, 10. Kulwant Khejrolia, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Stats and Facts:

  • Head-to-Head: MI: 13, RCB: 8. At the Wankhede, MI slightly lead RCB 4-3. RCB in 2015 scored the highest ever T20 total at the Wankhede: 235/1
  • MI beat RCB twice last season, including a five wicket win with one ball to spare at the Wankhede.
  • Spotlight on Kieron Pollard? He hasn’t started IPL 2018 brilliantly, scoring 28 runs in 24 balls in two games. The stage was set for him against DD with MI 166/3 after 15.4 overs, but was out first ball.
  • Krunal Pandya v AB de Villiers in IPL: Four meetings, 32 balls bowled to AB, 33 runs, four dismissals.
  • Since IPL 2015, Rohit Sharma has batted against legspin in 28 innings. He has been dismissed nine times against this bowling.
  • Virat Kohli is approaching a milestone. He needs 49 more runs to become the first player to score 5000 runs for a single team in 20-overs cricket. He has 4951 runs for RCB at 37.50 (SR 131.53).


Will underachievement continue to follow RCB around? Probably. Expect MI to be fourth time lucky and beat an RCB side not focused on team balance.
My predictions haven’t been too successful over the last two days or so, but this one could prove correct. Hoping for a good game, though.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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