Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2011, Bangalore April 11, 2011

Early favourites look to lay down the marker


Match facts

Tuesday, April 12
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

Barring the opening encounter, the first round of the IPL has seen one-sided mismatches, but Tuesday's second game offers the prospect of a much closer clash. Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are two of the strongest sides in the tournament, possessing plenty of power-hitters, who are backed by world-class bowlers.

Mumbai rode on Lasith Malinga's brilliance against Delhi Daredevils in a match that was rendered a no-contest. The small chase allowed the Mumbai top order to spend some time in the middle; Sachin Tendulkar eased to an unbeaten 46 while Rohit Sharma got a start.

The Bangalore attack of Daniel Vettori, Zaheer Khan and Dirk Nannes will provide a stiff challenge but the key will be how their batsmen handle Malinga. Especially for batsmen who haven't seen much of him, Malinga's yorkers, delivered from a very low height, can be unplayable. Fortunately for Bangalore, this isn't the case for the core of their line-up. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Virat Kolhi, AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary have faced Malinga sufficiently enough to be used to his unique style. He will nevertheless be difficult to get away, but they could look at how Virender Sehwag handled him in Delhi, even playing out a maiden when it was required.

Team talk

Andrew Symonds missed the opening game after injuring his shoulder in a fall, and Mumbai opted for James Franklin as their second overseas allrounder along with Kieron Pollard. Symonds, if he recovers in time, should replace Franklin.

Bangalore fielded a pace-heavy attack of Zaheer, Nannes and Abhimanyu Mithun against Kochi Tuskers Kerala and could continue with it, given that the Chinnaswamy Stadium has short boundaries. They might also want to send Cheteshwar Pujara higher up the order.

In the spotlight

Mayank Agarwal impressed on his IPL debut, smacking Muttiah Muralitharan over deep midwicket off the first ball he bowled. Malinga will test him upfront with the yorkers. How will he tackle them?

Davy Jacobs was undone by a pacy incoming delivery from Morne Morkel against Delhi. He will be up against Zaheer and Nannes in Bangalore. Will he be able to uncork those powerful wrists, like he did in the Champions League last year?

Prime numbers

  • Bangalore and Mumbai have been involved in two of the three ten-wicket victories in the IPL. Bangalore beat Rajasthan Royals in 2010 by the same margin by which Mumbai lost to Deccan Chargers in 2008
  • AB de Villiers held 13 catches in the field in 2009, the most in an IPL season. Andrew Symonds was not far behind with 12, the most in IPL 2010

The chatter

"My wicketkeeping is coming along very well, and I am getting good experience in Indian conditions. I have shown that I can do both [batting and keeping] and fitness is not a worry."
AB de Villiers can't do anything wrong at the moment

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • murali on April 12, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    RCB should lose.. We support Pune, RR and Kochi as it has some of best karnataka players. RCB is mallya's money team. he thinks he can buy fans with money.. sorry dude you can only buy players with money.. not fans We would have loved to see Kumble bowl.. as Kumble was not sure whether bangalore will ping him again or not, he quit the game. Shame on u mallya u made a legend to retier. see how Shane is bowling?

  • Bryn on April 12, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    bangalore should bring in pomersbach for dilshan

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    I hope RCB will win today..

  • Senthil Kumar on April 12, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    I see RCB as the Dons and Mumbai as the Underdogs..

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar , Dhawal Kulkarni,Ambati Rayudu- 1 may fail, 1 may be average , 1 little better.Sachin is the one who may be better amongst the three but his graph is down from last match Harbhajan,J Franklin.Both of them may be just average and near their last match performance only.Here or there.Means positive or negative Munaf Patel may have a better day.Should be significant in performance Kieron Pollard , Lasith Malinga , Davy Jacobs,A Mortaza :- They may have satisfactory day and 2 of them may be good. R Sathish He may be consistent in the tournament.May do worthwhile or average.But not an extraordinary day.

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    It will be clash between Nuwan pradeep vs Slinga the malinga!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    The best player-to-player match up will be Malinga bowling to Dilshan. There are legendary stories of Dilshan playing his patented "Dil-scoop" off Malinga yorkers in the nets. Seriously, sounds like science fiction. It will be a real treat, if it happens!

  • Lalith on April 12, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    We need Perera to handle Zaheer. Anyway this is the battle between Lasith Vs Zaheer. Whoever does better , the team will win.

  • Murali on April 12, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    Go Sachin GO.... This IPL is for u only

  • pankaj on April 12, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    malinga will be the one who will be really hard to face... but if they tackle him then bhajji, murtaja will also be a worry for them.. then the big batting line up of indians which seems best if symo comes in... will be a superb contest.. watch out for RCB.. they are underdogs and can get that advantage..

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