IPL-4 Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore: Match Preview, 2nd Qualifier
After crushing Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the elimination round, Mumbai Indians are all set to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second qualifier at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday, May 27, 2011.
Till the recent game against Chennai Super Kings, the Challengers were well on their way to win the 2011 title of the billion-dollar Indian Premier League with ease. However, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and company dashed all of their dreams to ground and put them
into a make-or-break situation. Mumbai Indians, who mostly stayed at the top position in the points table during first three weeks of the competition, subsequently went on to a slump and finished first round at the third place.
However, with back-to-back victories over Kolkata, they have put their campaign back on the winnings ways. In the crucial contest between the two big guns, RCB will look not to waste their second opportunity to make into the final. It will be a do-or-die
situation for both sides as they cannot afford to slip it away after doing all the hard work in the tournament.
Bangalore side has the best batting line-up with likes of Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle who are the top two run-scorers in the league. In the bowling department, the Challengers have a lot of woes to ponder over. While the skipper, Daniel Vettori’s performance
has gone down to due to fitness issues, the pace bowlers failed to stop opposition from doing damage in the first six overs of the innings.
Sreesanth Aravind has been reasonably good with his calculated bowling but the side would hope to see their main bowling spearhead, Zaheer Khan, to come back to his destructive form. Although, the critics, before the game against CSK, were calling RCB as
a team relying too much on Gayle, the Challengers sealed their lips by reaching 175 without any notable contribution from the Caribbean opener.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians’ season-4 campaign, barring last few games in the first round, was just like a honeymoon period as they hammered every side that came in their way.
While Sachin Tendulkar and Aiden Blizzard have been impressive at top of the order, James Franklin is the man who has done the trick for his team more than one time in the death overs. The Indians have equally good batting line-up to Bangalore and it will
be a good contest between bat and ball.
With the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard, Mumbai team has a very strong middle-order which will be a vital factor against Bangalore’s not-so-impressive bowling attack. The biggest edge that Mumbai will have over Bangalore is their
strong bowling line-up. Munaf Patel, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh are among the top bowlers in the ongoing competition but the question is whether they will be able to control Chris Gayle? Furthermore, Gayle will not be the only problem for them in the
big game as Kohli will also be there to give them some real tough time.
With the star-stuttered batting line-up at both ends, a high scoring match can be anticipated on batting-friendly track at Chennai. However, the teams will have to be extra vigilant on pitch which will get slower and lower as the game proceeds.
Both teams are good at chasing, therefore, the toss will also be crucial and the side batting second will have a clear edge over the opposition.