RR vs MI: Indians in Mumbai tackle Rajasthan Royal on Tuesday in a must-win showdown.© BCCI / IPL
It’s now at the end of the league, and there’s room for only one team to get to the playoffs. It makes the meeting between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians a scratchy game that will not only affect the fortunes of the two teams involved, but may also have an impact on that of Kolkata Knight Riders. But first, twice the defending champions, the Mumbai Indians, are knocked out if they lose this match. Rohit Sharma’s team is on 10 points from 12 games and in case of a loss in this encounter, the maximum points they can have after their last game against SunRisers Hyderabad, 12.
So keep aside all the permutations and combinations of the net interest rate; Mumbai’s main goal is to win the match. But the men of Rohit Sharma were in a sad state in the UAE leg of the tournament as they won only 1 of their 5 matches after the restart. The batting unit is completely wrong, with Quinton de Kock as the only light. The spin duo of Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya also was terribly out of shape.
Rohit Sharma will have to take responsibility on Tuesday to start his team well and reduce the burden on de Kock. Rajasthan has a young but energetic bowling attack, led by Bangladeshi disguise master Mustafizur Rahman. Rahman and fellow left-arm, medium-pacer Chetan Sakariya may well vary their pace to cause trouble on a sluggish Sharjah track.
The spin division of Rajasthan has little experience, and that is what the Mumbai power meters should look for. As Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard will have to use the long handle with good purpose to secure Mumbai’s score at a good pace.
For Rajasthan, the responsibility to score runs again falls on the shoulders of Captain Sanju Samson. The wicketkeeper-victim was in excellent form and has scored 480 runs so far this season.
The batting form of Shivam Dube will instill confidence in the team, but the Sharjah course is not true, and Boult and Bumrah could be very good. Turning is also the weakness of Mumbai and Samson will have to bat deep to take advantage of the form of the Mumbai speakers.
Rajasthan has suffered some heartbreaking losses against Mumbai over the years. This is their chance to get a knockout blow on the five-time champions.