Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2013, Jaipur April 16, 2013

In-form batsmen lead Mumbai's charge against Royals

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Match facts

April 17, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

Except for their opening match, which they lost narrowly, Mumbai Indians have been living up to their reputation of a big-ticket team. Their opening combination still hasn't fired but then, these are men who have more than 60,000 international runs between them. If the match against Pune Warriors is any indication, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting are finding their groove in the IPL.

To add to Rajasthan Royals' worries, Mumbai have perhaps the most formidable middle-order. Between them, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard have scored 479 runs in the team's four matches and the Royals will have to dismiss them early to dominate the match. In the bowling department, with the hard pitch at Sawai Man Singh Stadium, Mumbai might ponder picking Munaf Patel or Jasprit Bumrah ahead of Pragyan Ojha, adding more power to the pace attack of Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson.

Royals have always punched above their weight and their record against Mumbai is not as one-sided as many would presume. Of the nine matches the teams have played, Royals have won four times. Their bowling won them the match against Kings XI Punjab and the onus on restricting Mumbai's powerhouse batting would again fall on Sreesanth, Siddharth Trivedi, James Faulkner and Kevon Cooper. Their batting in the last two matches - with a habit of losing wickets in clusters - is an area of concern. They made heavy weather of what should have been a straightforward chase against Kings XI and, although they huffed to a six-wicket win, against Mumbai's better bowling, that kind of batting would mean handing the match to Mumbai on a platter.

There's another undercurrent to this match - Sreesanth and Harbhajan will play against each other for the first time since the former revived the 'slapgate' episode on Twitter last week.

Players to watch

James Faulkner was the third-highest wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield and did well with the bat, too. Watching him bowl to Ponting will be interesting given that the two play for Tasmania. He's batted at No.6 before and can be a good lower-order batsman for Royals.

On a wicket that's been friendly to pace bowlers, Lasith Malinga will be a handful for the Royals' batsmen. He's already on top of the bowling charts in the IPL with 85 wickets, but he doesn't have a great record against Royals, with seven wickets from seven matches at an average of 25.71. This match is a chance to change that statistic.

Stats and Trivia

  • Rohit Sharma has scored the most runs for Mumbai against Royals. In 10 matches, he has scored 302 runs at an average of 33.55.
  • Royals' wicketkeepers Sanju Samson and Dishant Yagnik are ranked second behind MS Dhoni in the list of wicketkeepers with the most dismissals in an innings in this season of the tournament.
  • Royals have won 21 of their 31 home matches, a victory percentage of 67%. In the history of the IPL, that's second only to Chennai Super Kings' home record of 25 wins from 38 matches.

Quotes

"We have been banking on our medium pacers... We hope they give us early break throughs and we are able to capitalise on it."
Rajasthan Royals' wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik on the importance of their bowlers

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • satish.n on April 17, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    I think time has come to play Edwards, he can be lethal along with Tait. With Faulkner, Sreesanth, Shukla and Watson (hope he starts bowling) the bowling would be formidable on this seam friendly pitch. There is enough batting power in RD, Rahane, Watto and Faulkner to take them home. My line-up would be Watson, Rahane, Dravid, Faulkenr, Binny, Samson, Menaria, Shukla, Sreesanth, Tait and Edwards

  • Narbavi on April 17, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Rahane, Watson, Dravid, Hodge, Binny, Samson, Faulkner/cooper, Harmeet/chandila, Sreesanth, Shukla, Tait is my team, i know it will be hard to leave out Trivedi, and also very hard to leave out one among Faulkner or Cooper, i would make Cooper sit out as Faulkner will be more dangerous on this pitch!! Hodge is the most crucial as he is really good against pacers. Anyway, tough calls to make for Dravid, but this really is exciting to watch him use his resources who are not big stars yet, but could well become at the end of the tournament!!

  • I_m_AKS on April 16, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    It's like Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund. Lol

    The Masters vs the Wall, lets see who triumphs.

  • Gun79 on April 17, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    This match is more like a grand final based on the first half results. Special about this season is its all for the seam bowlers. These 2 teams equipped with the best and will see who got the best out of the best. All the best rajestan.. your the best :)

  • Yasin123Patel on April 17, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    I like the pitch of jaipur. It is the best in this IPL. It has something for bowler and something for quality batsman too. There is no margine for error for batsman on this pitch unlike other pitches. Batsmen have to sure on their shot selection otherwise their wicket 'll under threat. This pitch is the best in india till date. Congrates to groundsman too.

  • on April 17, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Best Wishes MI...you guys wil win...

  • on April 17, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Not that it matters but Chennai's 25 wins from 38 matches is 65.78 % which is lower than the Royals home wins percentage of 67.74 (21 from 31) :)

  • on April 17, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    i think shah should play this match. Sachin baby can play instead of Binny

  • 504429641 on April 17, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    The very thought of Hodge and Shah should make opposition fear (they both feature in top 10 run getters in all T20). But they both cannot play together due to the 4 foreign players rule. If Watson continues to only bat and don't bowl, then may be watson can be dropped to include Hodge and Shah both.

  • on April 17, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    The good thing for Mumbai, is that when the law of averages catches up with, karthik and rohit sharma. It will also catch up with Sachin and Ponting. thus, if the No.3 & 4, dont perform. Then, definitely No.1 & 2 will perform. :)

  • satish.n on April 17, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    I think time has come to play Edwards, he can be lethal along with Tait. With Faulkner, Sreesanth, Shukla and Watson (hope he starts bowling) the bowling would be formidable on this seam friendly pitch. There is enough batting power in RD, Rahane, Watto and Faulkner to take them home. My line-up would be Watson, Rahane, Dravid, Faulkenr, Binny, Samson, Menaria, Shukla, Sreesanth, Tait and Edwards

  • Narbavi on April 17, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Rahane, Watson, Dravid, Hodge, Binny, Samson, Faulkner/cooper, Harmeet/chandila, Sreesanth, Shukla, Tait is my team, i know it will be hard to leave out Trivedi, and also very hard to leave out one among Faulkner or Cooper, i would make Cooper sit out as Faulkner will be more dangerous on this pitch!! Hodge is the most crucial as he is really good against pacers. Anyway, tough calls to make for Dravid, but this really is exciting to watch him use his resources who are not big stars yet, but could well become at the end of the tournament!!

  • I_m_AKS on April 16, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    It's like Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund. Lol

    The Masters vs the Wall, lets see who triumphs.

  • Gun79 on April 17, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    This match is more like a grand final based on the first half results. Special about this season is its all for the seam bowlers. These 2 teams equipped with the best and will see who got the best out of the best. All the best rajestan.. your the best :)

  • Yasin123Patel on April 17, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    I like the pitch of jaipur. It is the best in this IPL. It has something for bowler and something for quality batsman too. There is no margine for error for batsman on this pitch unlike other pitches. Batsmen have to sure on their shot selection otherwise their wicket 'll under threat. This pitch is the best in india till date. Congrates to groundsman too.

  • on April 17, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Best Wishes MI...you guys wil win...

  • on April 17, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Not that it matters but Chennai's 25 wins from 38 matches is 65.78 % which is lower than the Royals home wins percentage of 67.74 (21 from 31) :)

  • on April 17, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    i think shah should play this match. Sachin baby can play instead of Binny

  • 504429641 on April 17, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    The very thought of Hodge and Shah should make opposition fear (they both feature in top 10 run getters in all T20). But they both cannot play together due to the 4 foreign players rule. If Watson continues to only bat and don't bowl, then may be watson can be dropped to include Hodge and Shah both.

  • on April 17, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    The good thing for Mumbai, is that when the law of averages catches up with, karthik and rohit sharma. It will also catch up with Sachin and Ponting. thus, if the No.3 & 4, dont perform. Then, definitely No.1 & 2 will perform. :)

  • Rohit_06 on April 17, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Ponting sachin karthik rohit pollard rayadu malinga johnson munaf harbhajan

  • on April 17, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    I love RR team, they are up for MI. Surely this will not be one sided game. Go rajasthan go,we all with you.

  • Apocalypse_EX on April 17, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    @Pramod MJ and @Koustubh Sharma they meant Chennai have the most wins at home. Rajasthan have the best win percentage though.

  • Qa_ankit on April 17, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    From RR fan: According to me, the toss is going to be the key. If RR bowl 1st, then i will add Faulkner, Trivedi, Srisanth, Watson, Tait/Rahul (if rahul is fit) as my fast bowlers. So my four foreign players will be: Watty, Faulkner, Hodge, Tait/Edwards. Rahane, Dravid, Binny, Sachin, Samson, Trivedi, Srisanth. If Tait is picked then it will be Australian+Indian team against MI. For me key of the match is Dravid. Either batting 1st or 2nd. Because this kind to seam pitch requires lots of Excalibur to keep chiking the singles and doubles which Dravid is master off. My par total on this pitch might be 150-160. Who so ever bat 1st, should not go for 180-190 high. Its not batting paradise. Its bowling heaven these days. Things are changing.

  • on April 17, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    In stats and trivia, it is mentioned that RR's winning percentage at home (67%) is second to chennai. if u'll notice, chennai's win percentage at home is only 65% ( 25 out of 38). And makes RR the best at home. please clear out the mistake.

  • on April 17, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    They say throw the guy into the deep end and then you know if he is a fighter or not. I think RD should do the same with Sachin baby. RR should keep the same team and ask Sachin baby to come in place of binny though binny has done well. Both cooper and faulkner is doing well so it doesnt make any sense to bring in Tait. Also we need a bit of batting cushion.

  • on April 17, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    How is 21/31 second to 25/38??

  • Apocalypse_EX on April 17, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Johnson and Malinga playing on the Jaipur pitch...wow. That might be a bad for the Rajasthan Royals.

  • Narbavi on April 17, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    @Yasin123Patel: Spot on mate, RR should use Shah on slow pitches instead of Hodge, right now the pitches in hyderabad kolkatta and chennai are slow, so shah should come in but i won't be surprised if Shah plays today as well against MI because of the attack MI has!!

  • Yasin123Patel on April 17, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    RR should play following 4 foreign player : Watson, Faulkner, cooper and Hodge. RR should replace hodge with Shah on slow pitches like kolkata-chennai. for MI, openning pair have to fire because they can't rely always on middle order. i think karthik should open with sachin and ponting should go down the order.

  • Narbavi on April 17, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    RR will surely bring the fight to MI, with this pitch and the kind of batting MI has, i expect Shaun Tait to play this game, but instead of whom is the question, has to replace either Cooper or Faulkner, that will be a tough decision to take indeed, i also get a feeling that Watson might bowl today if early wickets don't fall, lets see!!

  • Narbavi on April 17, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    An interesting game, a few years back, the team of Kumble Sachin Dravid and Wright were up against Ponting and now the team of Kumble Sachin Wright and Punter are up against Dravid, this is what the ipl is all about!!

  • Edavana on April 17, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    I think Dravid is the best captain in this year's IPL. He has led from the front and kept the motivation level high in his team, which shows in the steady improvement in their performance by every match. I hope he gives Sachin Baby a chance in this match.

  • on April 17, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    My MI team for today's match.... Punter, God, DK, Ro-Hit, Pollard, Rayadu, Bumrah, Mtchell, Bhajji, Oza, Slinga....

  • muktijoddah on April 17, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    With cooper and faulkner in the side, RR has the best death bowling duo

  • BRUTALANALYST on April 17, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    M.I should be making 200 a game I hope Rick and Sachin start guns blazing and Pollard gets 10 overs to unleash cos if he comes off you win if not then u still got rohit raydu e.t.c but he should come above them at 4 because he's more destructive than even Gayle in full flow.

  • Nike_007 on April 17, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    The only match which RR lost was the one in which they were the Favorites (against PWI) so one can easily see that they enjoy the tag of underdogs.

    RR needs to strengthen their middle-order; my playing XI for RR and batting order:

    1)Watson 2)Rahane 3)Dravid 4)Hodge 5)Owais Shah 6)Cooper 7)Samson 8)Shukla 9)Sreesanth 10)Trivedi 11)Chandila

    If watson and hodge can bowl 1-2 overs each then bowling and batting both departments are equally strong.

  • sweet2hrme on April 16, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Sunrises can beat pune! Bt RR lost to MI..! U nvr knw mumbai batting can collapse like Chenai, KKR to make IPL even more interesting.. U guys knows what i am saying...!!

  • sweet2hrme on April 16, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    MI is a very balanced side. Woh! They r gelling well under the captaincy of gr88 Ponting. No wonder if they beat RR eaisly!!

  • simply-sunny on April 16, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    No master can destroy THE WALL. Only thing the masters can do is to make them look beautiful. I reckon it will be the THE WALL all the way. Another good win for RR on cards

  • on April 16, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    i wouldnt be suprised if jasprit bumrah is picked for the game against RR what a bowler he is .young and talented.

  • on April 16, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    No doubt, RR is no where near MI in papers. But RR has continuously performed way better than their weights. Therefore, it's too early to award two points to MI.

  • tvm11 on April 16, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    Dravid pls bring in Sachin Baby in place of Stuart binny. Baby is an excellent hitter and useful offspinner royals can use

  • on April 16, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    This is going to be the hell lot of fun tomorrow. Sachin vs Dravid, Ponting vs Watson, Pollard vs Cooper, Johnson vs Hodge, Karthik vs Rahane, Maling vs Trivedi ( really? ). On paper as if we are comparing SA and Bangladesh of current time but that has been the kind of history Royals has enjoyed. Be underdogs and take on the challenge. They have done it many a times against all strong teams.

  • Kirans_Eleven on April 16, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Johnson will be the bowler to watch on Jaipur pitch...Considering the current form of Rohit and Dinesh, I see an easy win for Mumbai tomorrow.

  • ajit2004rta on April 16, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Mumbai will in bunkers tonight . Cooper vs Pollard , Sree vs Bhajii , johnson vs watto . Eager to watch .

  • ajit2004rta on April 16, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Mumbai will in bunkers tonight . Cooper vs Pollard , Sree vs Bhajii , johnson vs watto . Eager to watch .

  • Kirans_Eleven on April 16, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Johnson will be the bowler to watch on Jaipur pitch...Considering the current form of Rohit and Dinesh, I see an easy win for Mumbai tomorrow.

  • on April 16, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    This is going to be the hell lot of fun tomorrow. Sachin vs Dravid, Ponting vs Watson, Pollard vs Cooper, Johnson vs Hodge, Karthik vs Rahane, Maling vs Trivedi ( really? ). On paper as if we are comparing SA and Bangladesh of current time but that has been the kind of history Royals has enjoyed. Be underdogs and take on the challenge. They have done it many a times against all strong teams.

  • tvm11 on April 16, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    Dravid pls bring in Sachin Baby in place of Stuart binny. Baby is an excellent hitter and useful offspinner royals can use

  • on April 16, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    No doubt, RR is no where near MI in papers. But RR has continuously performed way better than their weights. Therefore, it's too early to award two points to MI.

  • on April 16, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    i wouldnt be suprised if jasprit bumrah is picked for the game against RR what a bowler he is .young and talented.

  • simply-sunny on April 16, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    No master can destroy THE WALL. Only thing the masters can do is to make them look beautiful. I reckon it will be the THE WALL all the way. Another good win for RR on cards

  • sweet2hrme on April 16, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    MI is a very balanced side. Woh! They r gelling well under the captaincy of gr88 Ponting. No wonder if they beat RR eaisly!!

  • sweet2hrme on April 16, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Sunrises can beat pune! Bt RR lost to MI..! U nvr knw mumbai batting can collapse like Chenai, KKR to make IPL even more interesting.. U guys knows what i am saying...!!

  • Nike_007 on April 17, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    The only match which RR lost was the one in which they were the Favorites (against PWI) so one can easily see that they enjoy the tag of underdogs.

    RR needs to strengthen their middle-order; my playing XI for RR and batting order:

    1)Watson 2)Rahane 3)Dravid 4)Hodge 5)Owais Shah 6)Cooper 7)Samson 8)Shukla 9)Sreesanth 10)Trivedi 11)Chandila

    If watson and hodge can bowl 1-2 overs each then bowling and batting both departments are equally strong.