Mumbai v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Mumbai May 14, 2013

Can Royals breach Mumbai's fortress?

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Match facts

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Start time 2000 (1530 GMT)

Big picture

Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals have been unbeaten at home this season, and their clash on Wednesday could be a prelude to what may follow in the play-offs. In their respective previous games, it seemed at one stage that their home advantage was about to be undermined, but Shane Watson and Kieron Pollard completely altered the course of the chases with destructive half-centuries that left their opponents scarred. Mumbai have been unshakeable at the Wankhede, Royals have had some trouble on the road.

The No.1 spot in the table with a game in hand could be at stake in Wednesday's clash, and it also likely that these two teams will not have seen the last of each other this IPL season.

Sachin Tendulkar suffered cramps on his left hand and was struggling to grip the bat during the chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He retired hurt on 38, and it remains to be seen if he's recovered well to take on Royals.

Form guide

Mumbai Indians: WWWWL
Rajasthan Royals: WWWWL

In the spotlight

Dwayne Smith has been consistent with his starts, but has had matches this season where he's struggled in the opening overs, slowing the innings down. It has helped that Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma have scored quickly later in the order, but Smith has played and missed often, got bogged down and hasn't really dominated the start of an innings. His last five innings read 38 off 40, 22 off 24, 47 off 53, 0 off 1, and 21 off 17.

It'll be interesting to see what changes Rahul Dravid makes to Royals' batting order. Sending James Faulkner and Sanju Samson at No.3 and 4 respectively in a big chase against Chennai Super Kings did raise some eyebrows, before Watson and Stuart Binny helped their side cruise home. It could depend on what happens at the toss, but if there's been a team this season that has tweaked around its line-up and XIs, it's the Royals.

Stats and Trivia

  • Shane Watson has done pretty well against Lasith Malinga in T20 cricket, taking him for 71 runs off 46 balls while being dismissed by him once. Rahul Dravid, in comparison, has been quite subdued, scoring 24 off 32.
  • Simon Taufel is the most experienced on-field T20 umpire, having stood in 104 matches. However, he is tied with Marais Erasmus for the most number of matches as both on-field and TV umpire - 126. Erasmus has stood as on-field umpire in 96 matches, and as TV umpire in 30 games. Taufel's numbers are 104 and 22.

Quotes

"Stuart Binny is a really improved cricketer now. The way he has handled the pressure shows he has really matured and it is time that the national selectors also take note of his performance. In T20 format he is a superb finisher and contributes with the ball too. I am really happy for him."
Rahul Dravid on Stuart Binny

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 15, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    I think the reason why RR is unable to increase its NRR beyond csk and MI is because they have won most matches chasing. When you chase, you whether it's 120 or 190, you'll end up chasing in 19-20 overs. Not too much scope to increase NRR there. It is easier improving NRR by batting first and winning by 30-40 runs.

  • dummy4fb on May 15, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    It is easy to be a great cricketer. But it is difficult to be a great man. We are privileged to watch Dravid Bhai on the field again. In fact we feel every ounce of gentleman game which is missing in cricket when Dravid Bhai leads a team.(Take KKR, RCB! Oh! Unbelievable words coming out of skippers mouth! Feels very bad when we pretend them to be representing our region!)

  • THEBOSS on May 15, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Definately RR is going to breach Mumbai's fortress today...Not sure whether sachin is fully fit or not ..it will make difference to mumbai team strength and combination..Kieron Pollard cannot hit every bowlers like what he did to Perera/Mishra..We know how he struggled to hit in middle of the bat to STEYN..RR is a good bowling unit which will make feel the pressure for MI..

  • gayansumeera2 on May 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Really disappointed with the ignorance of Kusal Perera by Royals, He deserves at least one more chance before the end of the series.

  • RajSuperman on May 15, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    @shripadk I think you are completely off the mark ;-) winning by 10 runs by Mumbai does not assure that Mumbai will go to top the table on NRR. If Mumbai score 230 in 20 overs and Royals responds with 220 all out in 19 overs then NRR of Mumbai will be 0.599 - languishing in the second spot. Similarly if Mumbai scores 140 in 20 overs and RR is bundled out for 120 in 18 overs then NRR of mumbai is 0.611 - languishing again in second. There are plenty of combinations wherein even if MI wins they cannot lead the table. S Rajesh beware of a potential threat to your job ;-)

  • unni001 on May 15, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Today Sachin is not playing for Mumbai.He is injured. But we will not miss him since Sachin is playing for Rajasthan Royals .Hope Sachin baby makes a fantastic impact today.

  • dummy4fb on May 15, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Whether Mumbai wins or RR , I am just so excited to see the strategy on the ground. I get a feeling MI will go with the unchanged squad but there are lot expected from Dravid. The way he has done the captaincy , expecting the same team is like expecting Chris Gayle to play two maidens.

    On a serious note , I think RR should bring in Fidel edwards in place of Hodge and drop an indian bowler , I guess trivedi for Sachin baby. If thats a big risk to take in a crucial match then I think they should have an extra bowler preferably Shree in place of Yagnik and keep rest of the team as it is.

    Cant wait to see the team !

  • dummy4fb on May 15, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    I think MI batting is more balanced than RR while RR Bowling is more balanced and consistent than MI, All the MI batsman (Except Rayudu) got MOM while all RR bowler shown how difficult to score against them, since it's going to be an batting wicket, it will be interesting to see which side will dominant MI batting or RR Bowling

  • latecut_04 on May 15, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    'No one deserves to win more than Rahul Dravid'--Gavaskar. Just look how fit and committed he has turned up for the tournament.(not to speak of his leadership and batting so far in the series.)For somebody who was blamed by Vijay Mallya for wrong team selection, test match style batting and 'N" number of other failings after the first edition, the gladiatorial Rahul Dravid marches on silencing his critics dignifiedly but professionally.(as always) He did not seem tired during Eng tour(like most Indian players) after IPL2011 instead scored 3 100s in 4 matches(not to speak of his contribution against WI).Rightly drew curtains to his test career after failings down under the same year....Can this man ever do anything wrong....He is a template which can be followed not only by budding cricketers BUT any aspiring individual....well....I for one do that.....and believe I am in a populated club judging by the affection and support poured on RR only because of RD..Halla BOl..!!!!!

  • veerakannadiga on May 15, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    all th best RD. Go ahead and win, not only this match, but the championship. Nobody deserves this more than you. For those who find my statement biased, go ask the most famous (and the best) Mumbai cricketer - SMG, 'cause this is his statement on telly during extra innings .. from a loyal Dravid fan.