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IPL 2019, MI vs RR: Top five player battles to watch out for in Mumbai

Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.

cricket Updated: Apr 13, 2019 14:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IPL 2019,MI vs RR,Mumbai Indians
File image of Rohit Sharma.(AFP)

West Indian duo of Kieron Pollard and Alzarri Joseph will hog the limelight when Mumbai Indians lock horns with an out-of-sorts Rajasthan Royals in an IPL match in which home skipper Rohit Sharma’s return from injury will also be awaited in Mumbai on Saturday.

A leg spasm had forced Rohit to miss an IPL game for the first time in 11 seasons when he set out of Mumbai’s last game against Kings XI Punjab.

In his absence, stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard ensured MI continue its good run as his whirlwind 83-run knock helped the side script a three-wicket win in a humdinger on Wednesday.

The winning runs were hit by 22-year-old Alzarri Joseph, who has been the new sensation in this year’s cash-rich T20 league.

After a dream debut where he returned with best IPL figures of six for 12 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Alzarri (15 not out) played a crucial cameo against Kings XI to romp the side home.

So it would be interesting to see whether the Antigua-born Joseph and the big-hitting Pollard can carry their form into Saturday’s game.

Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.

Kieron Pollard vs Jaydev Unadkat

Kieron Pollard has an amazing record against Jaydev Unadkat in the IPL. The West Indian has batted at a strike-rate of 188.89, scoring 34 runs from 18 balls against Unadkat in the IPL. However, the fast bowler has taken Pollard’s wicket once and he will surely be hoping to dismiss him early on in his innings in their next match.

Rohit Sharma vs Dhawal Kulkarni

Rohit Sharma and Dhawal Kulkarni have had an interesting contest in the IPL so far. The Mumbai skipper has batted at a strike-rate of 158.06, but he has been dismissed four times by the fast bowler in the cash-rich league. Kulkarni will be certainly looking to get Rohit’s wicket again, but he will have to ensure that it doesn’t happen at a heavy price.

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Suryakumar Yadav vs Jofra Archer

Suryakumar Yadav has been Mumbai Indians’ prime batsman in recent seasons and therefore the Rajasthan Royals will be looking to get his wicket early. Rahane could give Jofra Archer the task of dismissing the batsman as the fast bowler has had success against Suryakumar in the past. The Mumbai batsman has managed just 7 runs off 10 balls and has been dismissed once by Archer in the IPL.

Ajinkya Rahane vs Jasprit Bumrah

Ajinkya Rahane has played cautiously against one of the world’s best bowlers - Jasprit Bumrah. The Rajasthan captain has scored 37 runs off 31 balls and hasn’t been dismissed by Bumrah in the IPL yet. It will be interesting to see if Rahane bats a little more aggressively against Bumrah or will he continue to be cautious in their next match.

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Jos Buttler vs Hardik Pandya

Jos Buttler is Rajasthan Royals’ most dangerous batsman and if he stays till the end of the innings, then his team will surely post a big total or chase down one. The Englishman will be fancying his chances against Hardik Pandya as he has taken him to the cleaners in the IPL so far. Buttler has scored 33 runs off 15 balls against Hardik and hasn’t been dismissed by the pacer in the cash-rich league so far.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 14:09 IST