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HomeCricketIPL 31st Match Preview: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians

IPL 31st Match Preview: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

RCB vs MI IPL 2018 Cricket Blog

Time is running out.

Not much room for error.

Two teams who have underperformed so far need to get it right.

The beauty of IPL 2018 is that even with two teams languishing near the bottom, we can expect an exciting clash, full of quality players. Both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians were in my predicted final four, and in the final four of many cricket fans and pundits, but it’s almost certain at least one of these two will miss out on the playoffs.

Royal Challengers Bangalore continue to be the victims of Twitter trolling. Given the cricket they’ve played, especially their bowling and fielding, they deserve it. Virat Kohli seems to have too much on his plate, firstly by ensuring he scores the runs his team needs, and then trying to lead a team that look like headless chickens on the field. An economy rate of 13.18 at the death is unacceptable, and time is quickly running out to show an improvement in this area.

Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, have a chance to go on one of their familiar runs to the playoffs. While they sit equal on the table with their opponents tonight, they have played much better cricket than them, and now have the chance to beat RCB for the second time this season. Their bowlers have held their own really well in recent games, and their top order clicked nicely against CSK. Another good opportunity awaits against a struggling RCB. Can they make it two straight and launch their run to the playoffs?

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Key to a Royal Challengers Bangalore win

Can their bowling hold up against a MI side that’s threatening to get going in IPL 2018? Also, will 
AB de Villiers be fit to play after illness? Those are the two big questions.
Against KKR, I almost felt as though Virat Kohli was a little cautious early in his innings (while still being aggressive – yes, he’s an incredible player), because of no ABD in the side. If ABD does play, the top order will need to score the bulk of the runs, as is usually the case.
Also, while their bowling and fielding failed again, it was good to see RCB try some different combinations. The same attack that was fielded against KKR will probably get another shot, and it’s important they put in a better display – can they get early wickets against MI, expose an inconsistent middle order and bowl well at the death?

Key to a Mumbai Indians win

In a game like this, MI can concede 200 and still win.
RCB have conceded 200+ in three of their seven games so far, and one can assume that if they managed 200+ v KKR, KKR would have still chased it down. The key for MI in this game is for the top order to lay a solid platform for the likes of JP Duminy and Hardik Pandya to launch in those dreaded death overs for RCB.

Possible teams:

If ABD returns for RCB, expect it to be at the expense of Brendon McCullum, who couldn’t quite get going against KKR. There is also talk Colin de Grandhomme could be the one to miss out, but that would be a bit harsh on him when Corey Anderson got three chances.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers could both bat in the top three, which does expose the middle order significantly if they don’t fire. Also, expect M Ashwin to play, despite his poor fielding in the last game.
Royal Challengers Bangalore XI: 1. Quinton de Kock (wk), 2. Manan Vohra, 3. Virat Kohli (c), 4. AB de Villiers/Brendon McCullum, 5. Mandeep Singh, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Tim Southee, 8. M Ashwin, 9. Umesh Yadav, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Mohammed Siraj
For MI, they could make one change and bring in Mustafizur Rahman for Ben Cutting.
Mumbai Indians XI: 1. Suryakumar Yadav, 2. Evin Lewis, 3. Rohit Sharma (c), 4. Ishan Kishan (wk), 5. Hardik Pandya, 6. JP Duminy, 7. Krunal Pandya, 8. Mitchell McClenaghan, 9. Mayank Markande, 10. Jasprit Bumrah, 11. Mustafizur Rahman

Stats and Facts:

  • Head-to-Head: Matches: 22, RCB 8, MI 14. In the previous meeting, MI smashed RCB by 46 runs.
  • In IPL 2015, both these two teams were exactly in the same position (2 wins, 5 losses). RCB finished 2nd on the table, while MI won the tournament.
  • RCB have won only one of eight games v MI at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. They have also won just three of their last 11 at Bengaluru v all opponents.
  • RCB have the worst death overs (16-20) economy rate in IPL 2018 (13.18), and MI have lost the most wickets at this stage (21).
  • MI have beaten RCB five times in a row.

Prediction:

I have more faith in MI getting the job done. They are perennial slow starters, and the stage is set for them to get their season going against an RCB side that continues to underwhelm in key moments. MI for the win, with Rohit Sharma once again having a good game.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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