Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2014, Ahmedabad May 18, 2014

Mumbai Indians look to avert exit


Play 03:06
Prasad: Won't be a cakewalk for Royals

Match facts

Monday, May 19, 2014
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)

Big picture

After 10 group games last year, Mumbai Indians were on the verge of making the playoffs having secured their seventh win of the season. They had just handed the table toppers Chennai Super Kings a 60-run thrashing at home, and would go on to lose just two more games, claiming, in the process, their maiden IPL crown. After 10 games this year, the defending champions are rooted near the bottom of the table with just three victories. One more loss and they are out of the race this year.

Mumbai's problems this season have been well documented. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu have only fired sporadically and on the bowling front, the wicket-taking responsibilities have been thrust solely on the shoulders of Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh - the pair has 24 scalps between them while the rest of the team combined have managed only 18.

Mumbai now need to win all their games and hope for other results to go their way if they are to advance to the playoffs, but the first obstacle in their way is a Rajasthan Royals outfit comfortably placed at the opposite end of the table. Royals have mostly stuck with the same combination this season, with most of their victories being built on the back of suffocating spells from Rajat Bhatia and Pravin Tambe. However, their successful chase of 191 against Royal Challengers pointed to an equally potent batting line-up.

Mumbai and Royals are both coming off recent defeats in the final over to Super Kings, but the loss would have hurt Mumbai a lot more as it snapped a 10-match winning run at home, putting them in a position where it is now all or nothing.

If there is one positive for Mumbai though, they did emerge victorious the last time they faced off against Royals, in the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 final.

Form Guide (most recent first)

Rajasthan Royals: WLWLW
Mumbai Indians: LWLWW

Where they stand

Rajasthan Royals: Third, with seven wins from 11 games
Mumbai Indians: Seventh, with three wins from 10 games

Watch out for

Mumbai Indians paid big money ($750,000) for Corey Anderson's services, but the New Zealand allrounder has looked lost in most of his outings this season. With just 150 runs and four wickets from 10 innings, Anderson has, in all likelihood, four matches left to prove to his detractors that the 36-ball 100 against West Indies - the fastest century in ODI history - was not a one-off.

Sanju Samson has been reliable behind the stumps with the gloves and also contributed with the bat whenever called upon, though he would ideally like to score more runs. Samson is currently the team's second-highest run-getter, and the last time he faced off against Mumbai, he thumped 60 off 33 balls, albeit in a losing cause. Royals would hope for more of the same from him as they edge closer towards the playoffs.

Stats and trivia

  • Mumbai have 7-5 win-loss record against Royals in the IPL, and have prevailed in four of the last five games against them
  • Shane Watson has the most runs among current players in Rajasthan-Mumbai IPL games, with 267. Sachin Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer in these matches, having made 273 runs


"I wouldn't say I am a specialist batsman. At the moment I haven't bowled at all in this tournament. But you never know, at times I might get called upon and take a few wickets and keep the runs to the minimum."

Steven Smith reveals he could bolster the Royals' already strong bowling unit

Anuj Vignesh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on May 19, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    What the hell!!! Praveen is still on the bench... He is good bowler....

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    @Cricketfan11111 CSK is @ 16 point who you say will notmake it to play off and mumbai is @ 6 points with 4 games even if they win all games they will make 14 points but you say they ccan make it to playoffs can you explain how ...... you gotta be a genius in math

  • vas on May 19, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Because of his captaincy responsibility Rohit is batting cautiously. He will be criticised if he throws his wicket away. Under Dhoni's captaincy he is free to play his natural game. MI still have chance for play offs. KKR looks the strongest for the fourth spot. But RCB is also gaining moment. MI needs all the luck to win all 4 remaining games and to pray for other results go their way.

    Only KXIP is sure of play offs spot because of their strong NRR, thanks to MAX and his exploits. Even CSK and RR might not make it on NRR count, if other teams are tied on 16 points.

  • Daison on May 19, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    MI needs to reduce expenditure this year coz this year they are not going anywhere near the play offs, nor they are getting to host finals. They need to realize their team is not good enough and realize their position - bottom of table.

  • Android on May 19, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    this is last chance for MI to stay alive in compitition. d lenge should come in place of malinga. rohit should open with simmons then raydu,tare,gautam,polly,andi,bhajji,pk,suyal,bhumrah,d lenge. MI management should take strong decision against oza for which they spent 3.5 crs.

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    MI need five bowlers .Pollard and anderson are not suitable fifth bowlers .They nee to come up the order .Drop gautam and get in shreyas gopal .He seems to be an allrounder but a better bowler .Rohit needs to open .Simmons Rohit Polard Anderson Rayadu Tare Bhajji Kumar Gopal Santokie Bumrah . RR should not change their side.Pollard has bowled more than he has batted .His bowling was the reason why MI lost against CSK.

  • Sundar on May 19, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    The miracle that can get Mumbai to the play offs 1. MI win all their matches - will get them to 14 pts 2. RCB win only one of the three matches - end with 12 pts 3. KKR loose all their matches - end with 12 pts 4. SRH win not more than 2 off 3 remaining - 12 pts

    There is of course a NRR angle in case of ties. But I dont think it will get to that

    In short MI , SRH and DD are out of the race. KKR seems to be set for the 4th spot

  • BaLASUBRAMANIAN on May 19, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    One more chance for Mumbai Indians. I wish they utilize this opportunity and make changes in the batting order. Their batting order should be Hussey, Cummins, Rohit, Pollard, Anderson, Rayudu and Gautam. The bowing would be headed by Harbhajan Singh and Ojha. They can win this match with this batting order, Though the chances of them making to the last four looks remote, they can play for pride and enjoy cricket and express themselves freely. Hussey/Rohit will play the anchor role effectively while others can attck.

    Best wishes for Mumbai Indians.

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    Mallinga has already joined the Srilanka Mumbai in deep trouble....they should bring Santokie who is a good T20 player...Rajasthan should give Hooda a chance instead of Binny....

  • Sundar on May 19, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    @sweetiepaper Spot on. This has been the problem with MI. But I doubt if they will play a fifth bowler and whether they will let Pollard and Anderson come up in the order. I would even Pollard and Anderson ahead of Rayudu. Rayudu is good, but he can not do what Pollard can on his day. Anyway whichever way the match goes, MI will not reach playoffs given so many odds stacked against them

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