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IPL 2018: Desperate Mumbai Indians eye win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) have lost three matches in a row in IPL 2018 and will hope for a change in fortunes against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

cricket Updated: Apr 16, 2018 23:00 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
IPL 2018,Mumbai Indians,Royal Challengers Bangalore
Mumbai Indians (MI) face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their fourth game of IPL 2018 at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.(PTI)

Languishing at the bottom of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 points table, defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) – who have lost all their three games so far -- will hope for a turnaround against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)

The IPL’s infamous slow-starters Mumbai Indians were finally able to put an end to their batting blues when they hammered 194/7 against Delhi Daredevils (DD) in their last match. But a sublime half-century from Jason Roy dashed Mumbai’s hopes of a win last weekend.

The move to send local boy Suryakumar Yadav at the top worked wonders as he added 102 for the first wicket with opener Evin Lewis.

READ: IPL 2018: Give the Universe Boss to the fans, says Kings XI Punjab’s Chris Gayle

With his current form, Suryakumar, who has scores of 43, 28 and 53, makes an ideal opening pair with Lewis. But MI would be concerned with the form of their captain Rohit, who has not been able to convert his starts, falling for 15, 11 and 18.

Mayank Markande’s exploits have breathed a fresh life into Mumbai Indians’ bowling, which has been bolstered by the addition of New Zealand pacer Adam Milne. Mustafizur Rahman’s performances have also been encouraging for the three-time IPL winners.

READ: IPL 2018: KL Rahul reveals strategy Kings XI Punjab used to nullify MS Dhoni

Hardik Pandya returned to action after twisting his ankle in the first game, but Mumbai are yet to witness the magic they expect from their lower-order that also includes Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya.

But Mumbai’s real troubles lie in their inability to pull off favourable results in crunch situations, as it has been thrice on the trot that they have failed in this tournament — losing by one wicket once and on the last ball twice.

Each of their last-over bets — Jasprit Bumrah against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Ben Cutting against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Mustafizur against Delhi Daredevils (DD) — conceded more than 10 runs in death overs and it remains a concern for MI.

READ: IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals’ Shreyas Gopal over the moon after scalping Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers

RCB also struggling

On paper, sixth-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore’s batting looks as threatening as it could get but so far with two defeats and one win, the Kohli-led team has not found its rhythm either.

Bludgeoned by Rajasthan Royals batsman Sanju Samson’s 92* on Sunday, RCB’s famed batting line-up consisting Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock could not deliver the goods at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

With only two fifties among the famous four in three matches so far, RCB batsmen would know how important it is for them to make most of the batting conditions at the Wankhede as their bowlers have done a decent job so far.

With seven wickets, Chris Woakes is tournament’s joint-highest wicket-taker and Umesh Yadav’s searing pace has made news. Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar form a dangerous spin bowling pair.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 19:47 IST