Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL, Mumbai April 26, 2013

Table leaders RCB out of comfort zone

38

Match facts

April 27, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Halfway through the tournament, Royal Challengers Bangalore are in pole position, tied on points with Chennai Super Kings but ahead on net run rate. They have played a huge chunk of their home games in a cluster, and made the most of familiar conditions and vociferous support, winning six out of six at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Their two losses have been away games.

For their next six matches, starting with Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede, Royal Challengers will be traveling the country. Away from the comfort of their surroundings, their consistency will be put to test. Royal Challengers should guard against peaking too early, and their coach Ray Jennings said their early success will count for nothing if they lose focus in their second round of games. A pleasing aspect for Royal Challengers is that their two leading wicket-takers are Indians, Vinay Kumar and RP Singh.

Mumbai Indians are a better team on paper than their position in the points table - No. 6 - suggests. They sprung a surprise when Ricky Ponting opted out of the previous match and handed over the captaincy to Rohit Sharma. Mumbai scrambled to a five-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, and with their next six games at home they have a chance to get back into the top four. What remains to be seen is whether Ponting returns.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Mumbai Indians WLLWW
Royal Challengers Bangalore WWWLW

Players to watch

All bowlers v Gayle - How does one keep Chris Gayle quiet? Among the Pune Warriors bowlers who got slaughtered in Bangalore, only Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Luke Wright finished with economy rates of less than seven. Length deliveries were duly hammered and the bowlers were guilty of bowling far too many deliveries on the middle and leg line. Fast yorkers are an option and Mumbai have one such bowler who could crack the Gayle puzzle. Malinga v Gayle will be the contest to watch.

Dwayne Smith replaced Ponting as opener two matches ago, and though Smith failed against Delhi Daredevils, he made it count with a match-winning 62 against Knight Riders in the next game. With Ponting struggling for runs, Smith could make the opening position his own going forward.

Stats and trivia

  • Lasith Malinga is currently the joint-highest wicket-taker in the IPL, with Sunrisers Hyderabad's Amit Mishra, on 88 wickets
  • Malinga has bowled the most balls at Gayle in the IPL without being hit for six - 39 deliveries. He's conceded only 36 runs to Gayle
  • Royal Challengers have played three games at Wankhede, winning two and losing one

Quotes

"I would like to ignore what has happened in first eight."
Royal Challengers coach Ray Jennings is not getting carried away with his team's success.

"It was his decision to opt out, and it takes a lot of heart and guts to do that."
Rohit Sharma on Ponting's decision to sit out the last match, despite being the captain

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 27, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Warning from "Western Railways - India": "Please don't stand on the gate of local trains tonight between Church Gate to Charni Road from 08.00 pm to 11.00 pm. Possibility of serious head injury as Mr. Gayle's six can come any time out of the stadium nearby!" :D :p

  • Audit1986 on April 27, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    RCB is in great form. They are not depends only gayle, dilshan or kholi. they are continuing as a whole. Bowlers are showing their best. there is no match of strength between MI and RCB. RCB is far far ahead from MI. Though it is cricket. Anything will happened. but from my point of view, RCB will win today's match.

  • on April 27, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Law of average speaks...... Chris Gayle would get out without scoring against Mumbai Indians!!!!!!

  • on April 27, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    i like to see gayle batting v/s malinga bowling,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • on April 27, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Jasprit Bumrah may get a game today

  • on April 27, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Even though I am an MI fan, RCB looks much stronger this IPL. If Gayle fails ABD and Virat are winning matches for them. If Rohit and Dinesh fails, MI will fold-up very cheaply. MI is heavily depending on Rohit Sharma.

  • Harshaln11 on April 27, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Everyone saying that RCB are too dependent on their top 4.. Every team wants their top 4 to flourish.. So whats the whole point?? I would say RCB are the most balanced team in the IPL.. Once Pujara returns from injury, it can only get better.. If Gayle doesn't fire, Dilshan will.. If Dilshan doesn't, Kolhi will.. If Kohli doesn't, AB will.. If all 4 fail, oh wait.. Someone among the 4 WILL fire.. It's too balanced..

    On the other hand, MI are the one's struggling to get their combination right.. They lack a good opening pair.. They lack a consistent middle order.. Malinga hasn't been at his best.. They lack the sting this season.. It's tough for Mumbai..

    Ultimately, I'd say Mumbai are running into a top team.. And MI have a lot of ground to cover.. I'd say, RCB to win easily..

  • siri12345 on April 27, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    lol after thrashing 175 runs to hapless pune bowlers now gayle must be thinking wat a bad luck.next game i have to face malinga lolthis is called destiny,s magic lol.even himself gayle knows wat chance he has against malinga.i will not be surprised if gayle is 'rested' from today,s game lol.cricinfo plz publish.

  • on April 27, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    RCB shud leave the over dependence on Gayle and Focus on the abilities of other star players in the team. but where is Cheteshwar Pujara??? Will he play?

  • on April 27, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    i like to see gyle vs lasith match

  • on April 27, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Warning from "Western Railways - India": "Please don't stand on the gate of local trains tonight between Church Gate to Charni Road from 08.00 pm to 11.00 pm. Possibility of serious head injury as Mr. Gayle's six can come any time out of the stadium nearby!" :D :p

  • Audit1986 on April 27, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    RCB is in great form. They are not depends only gayle, dilshan or kholi. they are continuing as a whole. Bowlers are showing their best. there is no match of strength between MI and RCB. RCB is far far ahead from MI. Though it is cricket. Anything will happened. but from my point of view, RCB will win today's match.

  • on April 27, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Law of average speaks...... Chris Gayle would get out without scoring against Mumbai Indians!!!!!!

  • on April 27, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    i like to see gayle batting v/s malinga bowling,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • on April 27, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Jasprit Bumrah may get a game today

  • on April 27, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Even though I am an MI fan, RCB looks much stronger this IPL. If Gayle fails ABD and Virat are winning matches for them. If Rohit and Dinesh fails, MI will fold-up very cheaply. MI is heavily depending on Rohit Sharma.

  • Harshaln11 on April 27, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Everyone saying that RCB are too dependent on their top 4.. Every team wants their top 4 to flourish.. So whats the whole point?? I would say RCB are the most balanced team in the IPL.. Once Pujara returns from injury, it can only get better.. If Gayle doesn't fire, Dilshan will.. If Dilshan doesn't, Kolhi will.. If Kohli doesn't, AB will.. If all 4 fail, oh wait.. Someone among the 4 WILL fire.. It's too balanced..

    On the other hand, MI are the one's struggling to get their combination right.. They lack a good opening pair.. They lack a consistent middle order.. Malinga hasn't been at his best.. They lack the sting this season.. It's tough for Mumbai..

    Ultimately, I'd say Mumbai are running into a top team.. And MI have a lot of ground to cover.. I'd say, RCB to win easily..

  • siri12345 on April 27, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    lol after thrashing 175 runs to hapless pune bowlers now gayle must be thinking wat a bad luck.next game i have to face malinga lolthis is called destiny,s magic lol.even himself gayle knows wat chance he has against malinga.i will not be surprised if gayle is 'rested' from today,s game lol.cricinfo plz publish.

  • on April 27, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    RCB shud leave the over dependence on Gayle and Focus on the abilities of other star players in the team. but where is Cheteshwar Pujara??? Will he play?

  • on April 27, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    i like to see gyle vs lasith match

  • pinn on April 27, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    RCB seems to rally on Gayle though it has good players like Kohli & AB. As long as these players can conscious and take on the game when Gayle fails, RCB can thrive. RCB can be definitely in first 2 places during league, but their real test awaits on play offs and final.

  • Lion83 on April 27, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Malinga vs Gayle will be a contest within a contest

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on April 27, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    when team performance matters, RCB lags way behind to MI. RCB depend on gayle, AB and kohli. So on a given day MI has more capability than RCB.

  • lazyone on April 27, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    "Malinga has bowled the most balls at Gayle in the IPL without being hit for six - 39 deliveries. He's conceded only 36 runs to Gayle" Gayle has a good strategy. He hardly attack bowlers like Malinga,Steyn,Narine. He don't want to throw his wicket away for them. He knows that he can clear any boundary when ordinary bowlers are bowling.

  • lazyone on April 27, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    "Malinga has bowled the most balls at Gayle in the IPL without being hit for six - 39 deliveries. He's conceded only 36 runs to Gayle" Gayle has a good strategy. He hardly attack bowlers like Malinga, Steyn,Narine. He don't want to throw his wicket away for them. He knows he can clear any boundary when others are bowling.

  • SG_Styles on April 27, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    For today's game also, Ricky shud sit out.. Smith, Pollard, Malinga n Johnson wil b d best 4 to play.. Talkin' abt Gayle, i think hez gonna have a tough outing against Malinga, Johnson n Bhajji. MI may face a tough challenge frm Kohli n AB. Overall I sense a victory for MI.

  • Narbavi on April 27, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    RCB needs to drop Dilshan and bring in Henriques, he offers so much with the ball and also a very good batsman at any position, i have seen him score for sydney sixers even in the top order, malinga vs gayle will be the key i guess!!

  • on April 27, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    we still have no news on pujara's availibility, it would have been fantastic to have him in RCB's line up to provide solidity and also to let the big strikers to play freely.

  • on April 27, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    RCB are the srongest contenders this season.

  • on April 27, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    No doubt in my head that this will be an interesting game to watch. I do want Mumbai Indians to win, but I also do want to see Gayle go crazy again. But in saying all this, if RCB were to win, I would really like to see someone apart from Gayle, AB and Kohli playing a splendid knock. By that I definitely do not mean that the rest have not performed, it's simply a matter of not getting a chance because of the top order. I would also like for Malinga to be more effective in his first spell. As for the debate going on about Ponting's place, my take is a bit both ways. I think it is good that he dropped himself from the team for the teams' sake and yes it does show some class as well to certain extend. As for Ravi Rampaul, I think he is a very good asset to have in your side due to the skills he possesses at the depth overs. AB is the prime example of a player who adapted to T20 style of batting but has not lost the technique and skill required for the longer formats. Expect a good game

  • sachinbkere on April 27, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    @yasin:harbhajan is an international quality bowler??no more im afraid he has the worst economy of all spinners in the ipl and he nearly succeded in bringing yusuf pathan back to form and ojha is a left arm spinner who is like fodder for gayle......gayle is smart enough to play out malinga and initial 2 overs from johnson and feast on the others and not even malinga can stop kohli and de villiers......MI will hav to depend on their "mighty" batting line up

  • BRUTALANALYST on April 27, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    I think Kohli should just replace Dilshan and open with Gayle then add Chris Barnwell to the side as a finisher, Barnwell also offers his bowling and will be hungry to perform. Push Tiwary up order at 3 AB at 4 or if they have good opening innings AB at 3.

  • Yasin123Patel on April 27, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    today gayle 'll fail. Because in MI lineup there are 4 international level bowler. Ojha, Johnson, Malinga, Harbhajan. There are no more club bowler to whom gayle hit sixes. Remember last games against MI, gayle didn't play well against Johnson and Harbhajan. Ya he hit munaf and polard. But this time he 'll face malinga.

  • on April 27, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    first 4 overs shud b strictly done by MI vs dil n gayle... coz they have in form malinga n johnson and very high chance of picking gayle's wicket.. no other bowler should b tried in first 4!!!!!! hope rohit is listening :P :P then use polly or smith or any other in 5 n 6... but hopefully......first 4 wud hv done it for MI!! all the best

  • AMAZINGFAN on April 27, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    now we'll see how this ONE MAN TEAM performs outside home...i expect MI to win this match convincingly....

  • KallisTheGreatest on April 27, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    AB & Dilshan's batting will be more crucial for RCB in their away affairs.

  • gnanzcupid on April 27, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    If mumbai is to win today,the only option will be to drop harbhajan

  • runut9 on April 26, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    MI doesn't have any foreign Match winners(Batsmen).. Pollard plays 3 of 10 games. Ponting 0/10 games and Smith may be 3-4/10 games. You need have someone who is more than 60% consistence and a match winner. RCB has Gayle & AB 70-80% Consistence & match winners. Dilshan is playing fair game too.

    I'm still wondering what is Million dollar baby doing at the dough out? Has he been bought to sit and clap/cheer???

  • on April 26, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    Ponting never like T20 game, opted out after IPL1 I believe and then the lure of Money brought him back, but hes too old for this format, and yes u cant teach an old dog new tricks

  • KingOwl on April 26, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Rohit says: "It takes a lot of heart and guts to sit out". I am sure he is being nice to his captain, Ponting. But I thought it would take a lot of heart and guts to continue playing, when he was contributing nothing to the team!!

  • Mayan820 on April 26, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    If Mumbai doesn't get it right from ball one against Bangalore, it will be game over Mumbai before it has almost begun. V. Kholi means business this season and it looks as if not even a full on collision with a freight train will stop him from bringing the IPL trophy home to Bangalore this time around.

  • chris292917 on April 26, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    i think they should drop sachin down the order and let rayudu open. alot of star openers have done it b4 with success.let him bat a t 11....hahahah.seriously they should try it.

  • on April 26, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Chetan Asher , I think u r genious... i will not wonder if u want to replace SRT with some other gully cricketer. Come on man, dont be jealous .. He score 40 change at 160 strike rate and 1 fifty .. beter know and talk...

  • SidsIPLTeam on April 26, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    MI have to be right on the money with RCB. Previously getting Gayle would mean half the job done. But wait, with the bowling woes being mostly solved by Rampaul, they are able to play the extra foreign batsman in the form of Dilshan & the line-up looks cracking. Gayle, Dilshan, Kohli, AB, Tiwari and Karthik in batting followed by Rampaul as the miserly at the same time wicket taking option, Vinay & RP with wicket taking abilities (or luck sometimes) & Unadkat with his slower variations; lending the perfect balance. Teams watch out! They mean business. MI has a very good team. But, can't afford to let RCB chase - another team like the CSK, who are extremely good chasers. MI should include Ponting. Smith is more like a hit or miss. MI XI: Sachin, Ponting/Smith, Karthik, Rohit, Rayudu, Pollard, Harbhajan, Ojha, Johnson, Malinga, Munaf/Bhumra.

  • sweet2hrme on April 26, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    MI! Plz dnt play with two spiners! Gyale always like spinners, Guess what left arm spiner against Gyale.. Night mare.. My Team 4 MI 1 Sachin 2 Smith 3 kartik 4 rohit 5 pollard 6 raydu 7 johnson 8 harbajan 9 malinga 10 munaf 11 kulkarni

  • on April 26, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    out of Comfort,.. cant belive that,.. the two away matched lost by RCB is by whisker.. against SRH it was super over, which could have gone any side.... and against CSK it was last ball finish(which isnt) if not RP Singh bowled that infamous delivery,.. else it also could have gone to any side,.. I say if Gayle may not fire and Virat and Tiwary(mat be) win the matches for RCB....

  • on April 26, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    MI 11 (In Batting Order, based on batting ability displayed of late) - Smith, Karthik, Sharma, Pollard, Rayadu, Bhajji, Johnson, Malinga, Tendulkar, Ojha, Dhawal / Munaf... For those SRT fans who want to talk about his fluke successes - One 50-run innings once in 40 / 50 outings, even B S Bedi who spent his entire life at # 10 for team India has got. That did not entitle Bedi to an opener's position.

  • cricket_is_religion on April 26, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Out of Comfort..?Can't believe .

  • cricket_is_religion on April 26, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Out of Comfort..?Can't believe .

  • on April 26, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    MI 11 (In Batting Order, based on batting ability displayed of late) - Smith, Karthik, Sharma, Pollard, Rayadu, Bhajji, Johnson, Malinga, Tendulkar, Ojha, Dhawal / Munaf... For those SRT fans who want to talk about his fluke successes - One 50-run innings once in 40 / 50 outings, even B S Bedi who spent his entire life at # 10 for team India has got. That did not entitle Bedi to an opener's position.

  • on April 26, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    out of Comfort,.. cant belive that,.. the two away matched lost by RCB is by whisker.. against SRH it was super over, which could have gone any side.... and against CSK it was last ball finish(which isnt) if not RP Singh bowled that infamous delivery,.. else it also could have gone to any side,.. I say if Gayle may not fire and Virat and Tiwary(mat be) win the matches for RCB....

  • sweet2hrme on April 26, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    MI! Plz dnt play with two spiners! Gyale always like spinners, Guess what left arm spiner against Gyale.. Night mare.. My Team 4 MI 1 Sachin 2 Smith 3 kartik 4 rohit 5 pollard 6 raydu 7 johnson 8 harbajan 9 malinga 10 munaf 11 kulkarni

  • SidsIPLTeam on April 26, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    MI have to be right on the money with RCB. Previously getting Gayle would mean half the job done. But wait, with the bowling woes being mostly solved by Rampaul, they are able to play the extra foreign batsman in the form of Dilshan & the line-up looks cracking. Gayle, Dilshan, Kohli, AB, Tiwari and Karthik in batting followed by Rampaul as the miserly at the same time wicket taking option, Vinay & RP with wicket taking abilities (or luck sometimes) & Unadkat with his slower variations; lending the perfect balance. Teams watch out! They mean business. MI has a very good team. But, can't afford to let RCB chase - another team like the CSK, who are extremely good chasers. MI should include Ponting. Smith is more like a hit or miss. MI XI: Sachin, Ponting/Smith, Karthik, Rohit, Rayudu, Pollard, Harbhajan, Ojha, Johnson, Malinga, Munaf/Bhumra.

  • on April 26, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Chetan Asher , I think u r genious... i will not wonder if u want to replace SRT with some other gully cricketer. Come on man, dont be jealous .. He score 40 change at 160 strike rate and 1 fifty .. beter know and talk...

  • chris292917 on April 26, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    i think they should drop sachin down the order and let rayudu open. alot of star openers have done it b4 with success.let him bat a t 11....hahahah.seriously they should try it.

  • Mayan820 on April 26, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    If Mumbai doesn't get it right from ball one against Bangalore, it will be game over Mumbai before it has almost begun. V. Kholi means business this season and it looks as if not even a full on collision with a freight train will stop him from bringing the IPL trophy home to Bangalore this time around.

  • KingOwl on April 26, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Rohit says: "It takes a lot of heart and guts to sit out". I am sure he is being nice to his captain, Ponting. But I thought it would take a lot of heart and guts to continue playing, when he was contributing nothing to the team!!

  • on April 26, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    Ponting never like T20 game, opted out after IPL1 I believe and then the lure of Money brought him back, but hes too old for this format, and yes u cant teach an old dog new tricks