Matches (19)
WI v NZ (1)
ZIM v IND (1)
NL v PAK (1)
ENG v SA (1)
Women's Hundred (2)
Men's Hundred (2)
CWC League 2 (1)
IRE v AFG (1)
BAH v KUW (1)
RL Cup (8)
18th Match (N), Pune, April 09, 2022, Indian Premier League
(18.3/20 ov, T:152) 152/3

RCB won by 7 wickets (with 9 balls remaining)


Clock ticking down on Mumbai Indians' season as they come up against strong RCB

Mumbai have lost three in three, and need to turn it around against a team that will be reinforced by the addition of Glenn Maxwell

Deivarayan Muthu

Big picture

Starting the season with three defeats in as many matches: Mumbai Indians have been in the same rocky boat in the past, in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2018. In 2015, they famously steadied themselves, steered past the troubled waters, and went on to win the title. That was Hardik Pandya's first season with Mumbai. Seven years later, the Hardik-less Mumbai are hoping not to capsize already. Captain Rohit Sharma has called for more desperation and hunger from his team.
Among Mumbai's issues has been the fact that new recruits Basil Thampi, Tymal Mills and Daniel Sams have leaked runs with the ball, while their older batting hands Rohit and Kieron Pollard are yet to impose themselves on this season like they can. Mumbai's bench strength, too, doesn't inspire the kind of confidence it did in the past. Suryakumar Yadav's return from injury, however, was a timely boost to the side and he immediately shook off any rust with 52 off 36 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday. They will need more shaking off of rust from his team-mates on Saturday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore are set to receive a major boost of their own, with the newly wed Glenn Maxwell ready to return to action after missing the side's first three games this season. Maxwell's presence could ease the load off Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik on the batting front and give them an offspin-bowling option against the left-handed pair of Ishan Kishan and Tilak Varma.
With Maxwell back, Royal Challengers could have seven genuine bowling options in addition to having a deep batting line-up, with allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga potentially slotted at No. 9. Ominous signs for Mumbai and the other teams in the league?

In the news

Maxwell has trained with the Royal Challengers squad and is set to replace West Indies' Sherfane Rutherford in the XI.

Likely XIs

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Anuj Rawat/Mahipal Lomror, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 David Willey, 6 Shahbaz Ahmed, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Harshal Patel, 9 Wanindu Hasaranga, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Akash Deep
Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Tilak Varma, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Tim David/Dewald Brevis, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Fabien Allen/Daniel Sams, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Tymal Mills, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Basil Thampi/Jaydev Unadkat

Strategy punt

There's a case for Royal Challengers to continue to use the left-handed pair of David Willey and Shahbaz Ahmed as floaters, to tackle legspinner M Ashwin and left-arm fingerspinner Fabian Allen who might get a game in place of Sams.
Willey, in particular, is strong against legspinners, as his T20 strike rate of 134.40 against them suggests. In all, Willey has scored 250 runs off 186 balls from legspinners, and been dismissed 11 times against them in 33 innings. Having said that, Ashwin, like Ravi Bishnoi, relishes bowling the wrong 'un more than his stock legbreak. So, Ashwin vs Willey and Shahbaz could make for an interesting duel.

Stats that matter

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Customize Your Page
AskESPNcricinfo Logo

Instant answers to T20 questions

RCB Innings
<1 / 3>
Indian Premier League