14th Match (N), Wankhede, April 01, 2024, Indian Premier League
(15.3/20 ov, T:126) 127/4

RR won by 6 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
98.27 ptsImpact List

Can slow starters Mumbai Indians kick into gear at batting paradise Wankhede?

In their way stand Rajasthan Royals, who have won two in two this season. Will either see a change in fortunes here?

Jos Buttler loves batting at the Wankhede Stadium, and Mumbai Indians will know it  •  Sportzpics

Jos Buttler loves batting at the Wankhede Stadium, and Mumbai Indians will know it  •  Sportzpics

Match details

Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Mumbai, 1930 IST (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

Mumbai Indians tend to start IPL seasons slowly and build serious momentum heading into the business end. Rajasthan Royals tend to go the opposite way. Because of this, contests between these two teams, especially at the Wankhede Stadium, tend to assume season-defining significance. You'll remember Rahul Dravid flinging his cap away in 2014, or Tim David going 6, 6, 6 off Jason Holder last year.
It's still early in IPL 2024, but there's a sense of déjà vu about the build-up to this contest. Royals have begun with two wins on the bounce, and Mumbai with two defeats.
You expect Mumbai to kick into gear soon enough, given the strength of their squad, and in a season dominated by home teams it will no doubt help them to be back in the warm, fuzzy environs of the Wankhede (new captain Hardik Pandya will especially be hoping the atmosphere is something of the sorts). They will be telling themselves they should have probably beaten Gujarat Titans in their season-opener, and will take encouragement from how much of a scare they gave Sunrisers Hyderabad while attempting to chase down a ludicrous 278.
Royals, for their part, have picked up two gratifying wins, with their middle order and death bowlers particularly impressive in bat-first displays against Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals where they prevailed despite being put under pressure. They haven't yet met an opposition with the hitting firepower of Mumbai, though, and that could potentially test the depth of both their bowling and, in particular, their batting - and, in relation to this, their Impact Player strategy.
These are two good teams, then, both with the potential to go deep in the tournament. You can't read too much into their results at this stage, though Mumbai, for all their history of coming back from poor starts, will desperately want to avoid a third defeat in a row.

Team news and impact player strategy

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai have already used 14 players this season, with entirely different impact ins and outs in their two games so far. This was in part down to a niggle ruling Luke Wood out of their game against Sunrisers - expect him to return in place of Kwena Maphaka if he's fit again.
Probable XII: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Naman Dhir, 4 Tilak Varma, 5 Hardik Pandya (capt), 6 Tim David, 7 Dewald Brevis/Romario Shepherd, 8 Shams Mulani, 9 Gerald Coetzee, 10 Piyush Chawla, 11 Luke Wood/Kwena Maphaka, 12 Jasprit Bumrah.
Rajasthan Royals
Similar circumstances - toss, match situation - led Royals to stick to the same combination in their first two games. If they require a batter as an impact sub, Rovman Powell is likely to play that role.
Probable XII: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Buttler, 3 Sanju Samson (capt & wk), 4 Riyan Parag, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Dhruv Jurel, 7 Rovman Powell/Nandre Burger, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Avesh Khan, 11 Sandeep Sharma, 12 Yuzvendra Chahal.

In the spotlight

While he's been in the spotlight for losing the Mumbai captaincy, it's probably been less remarked upon that Rohit Sharma is setting the powerplay on fire. He's scored 50 off 28 balls in the first six overs this season, for one dismissal, and his powerplay strike rate of 178.57 is his best in any IPL season, with his 2015 figure of 150.84 a distant second.
Royals, though, have the new-ball bowling to potentially neutralise Rohit in the powerplay. They have Trent Boult, of course, but they also have a swing-bowling option who hasn't bowled a single powerplay over this season, Sandeep Sharma. One of the most prolific powerplay bowlers in IPL history, Sandeep has adapted splendidly to a new role in the death overs, but his IPL record against Rohit makes a case for him to get the new ball again: 44 balls, 38 runs, five dismissals.

Stats that matter

  • Mumbai have won four of their last five matches against Royals.
  • Mumbai won five of their seven home games in the league stage of IPL 2023, giving them a home win percentage of 71.4, the best in the tournament last year.
  • Jasprit Bumrah has an economy rate of 6.25 so far this season. The next-best Mumbai bowler on that count has been Gerald Coetzee, at 10.50. In all, the non-Bumrah Mumbai bowlers have a combined economy rate of 12.06. The story is similar on the average front too, with Bumrah giving away 16.7 runs per wicket and the rest an eye-watering 64.3.
  • Keep an eye out for the contest between Bumrah and Shimron Hetmyer. Their IPL meetings have been rather one-sided so far: 14 balls, nine runs, three dismissals.
  • Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler haven't yet made a truly telling contribution this season, but there's every likelihood at least one of them will fire on Monday night. Jaiswal, who plays for Mumbai in domestic cricket, averages 54.50 here in the IPL while striking at 173.01 across four innings. Buttler, meanwhile, has played 13 games here for Royals, averaging 49.18 and striking at 155.01 while achieving top scores of 116, 94*, 89 and 70*.

Pitch and conditions

The Wankhede (run rate of 10.14) was the fastest-scoring ground in IPL 2023. It was the fastest-scoring ground when the fast bowlers operated (10.99) and the second-fastest scoring ground (8.80) when the spinners were on. It was the fastest-scoring venue in the powerplay (9.91), the second-fastest-scoring in the middle overs (9.58) and the fastest regularly used venue - only Dharamshala ended up above it - at the death (12.26). There is a chance, then, that we may witness some run-scoring.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
RR 100%
100%50%100%MI InningsRR Innings

Over 16 • RR 127/4

RR won by 6 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)
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