Two mouthwatering clashes set to take place in the IPL today.
MUMBAI INDIANS VS RAJASTHAN ROYALS:
Rajasthan Royals is a side that is currently filled with problems. The form of both Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane have come under the scanner. Apart from not scoring man runs, the duo also sport a very low strike rate that isn’t helping the team’s cause.
With Rahane’s spot unmovable considering that he is the skipper of the side, only a brave call to replace Steve Smith might change their fortunes. Also Ben Stokes hasn’t come to the party as of yet, struggling to time the ball. Taking all this into consideration, roping in someone like Ashton Turner might do wonders for them.
Another problem that the side also face is finding Dhawal Kulkarni an able pace partner. Unadkat has misfired so far this season and they haven’t got many options up their sleeve.
MI on the other hand will be boosted by the return of Rohit Sharma from injury. They badly missed his services vs KXIP and it was evident in the bowling rotation Pollard orchestrated. Malinga too might find his place back in the side having returned from national duty.
Gowtham could return to the playing 11 having sat out for Riyan Prayag in the previous game. For Mumbai, a returning Rohit Sharma will replace Siddesh Lad. Rest up it’s expected to be an almost similar side.
RR: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith/Ashton Turner, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, K Gowtham/Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.
MI: Rohit Sharma (c), Evin Lewis/Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Joseph, Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendoff.
KINGS XI PUNJAB VS ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:
A win in the previous game could have put KXIP in pole position heading into today’s game. But Kieron Pollard played a blinder of a knock to take the game firmly away from their grip. The side will try to put that loss behind their back tonight.
The hosts will take confidence from the fact that both Rahul and Gayle have returned to their prime form. Their only concern right now will be in their bowling department. For yet another time Ashwin faced the consequences for fielding just 5 bowlers. It looks to be seen whether he plays a 6th bowler for the first time.
Their opponents for tonight are still yet to open their account. Even while the performances have improved as the season’s progressed, luck just hasn’t been on their side. The major cause for their dismal performance has been their bowlers.
The pacers just haven’t stepped up to the occasion and it has been their spinners who have had to do the bulk of the job. To add to their woes, Siraj seems to be injured in training. It looks to be seen how their RCB recoup from such a situation.
With injury to Rajpoot, M Ashwin might replace his services. Rest up a similar side is expected to be in place. Plenty of changes can take place in the RCB camp considering their desperate need to open the account. Umesh is most likely to replace the injured Siraj.
KXIP: KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Hardus Viljoen, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami.
RCB: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav.