What could be viewed as a new dawn for Royal Challengers Bangalore may well be a false alarm unless they can take their momentum forward against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede on Monday.
Virat Kohli’s men finally got the monkey off their back posting their first victory of the 2019 Indian Premier League against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.
It was two RCB veterans – Kohli and AB de Villiers -- who joined forces at Mohali to condemn the Kings to an eight-wicket defeat.
Ecstasy on one side – RCB – and sheer disappointment on the other as Mumbai were blown away by Jos Buttler and Shreyas Gopal at the Wankhede Stadium in the early game on Saturday.
A wounded Mumbai are probably one of the most dangerous in the IPL considering the wealth of match-winners they possess. Some dazzling performances have been overshadowed by inconsistency with MI looking to get back on track.
Mumbai have hosted Bangalore at the Wankhede eight times in the IPL with the home side prevailing in five of those. When it comes to this specific clash, the wins are the same batting first or fielding first. In the last four games against RCB (since 2015), Mumbai have won three – twice chasing.
If Kohli and de Villiers have been vital for their side, Jasprit Bumrah is someone Mumbai will heavily depend on. Mentored by Lasith Malinga at the franchise, Bumrah has moved out of the shadow of the Sri Lankan to firmly stake his claim as the bowling spearhead of the team.
After the defeat to Rajasthan, Mumbai bowling coach Zaheer Khan had emphasized on how vital the middle overs are in a T20 game and the former India pacer’s claims that his side need to buck up, aren’t unfounded.
With the bowling, they have the second highest economy of 8.44, marginally behind Kolkata Knight Riders and the batting too has struggled with Rohit Sharma’s men losing as many as 18 wickets in the middle phase, striking at 125.13.
Alzarri Joseph, Adam Milne’s replacement, was ruled out of the IPL on Sunday after suffering a tear to his right arm against Rajasthan on Saturday. Lasith Malinga recently joined up with the squad and should be a natural replacement.
For RCB, Dale Steyn will only be available for the next fixture. Apart from that, RCB have no major players missing.
MI: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendorff, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
While Navdeep Saini had a fabulous outing for RCB against KXIP, there were worrying signs with Mohammed Siraj going for 54 off his four overs. The screws need to be tightened at the death and Kohli could opt to bring in Kulwant Khejroliya to try a left-arm variation. Considering Mumbai have quite a few right-handers, Pawan Negi is likely to replace his spot, despite not bowling a single over in Mohali.
RCB: Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Kulwant Khejroliya, Yuzvendra Chahal