25th Match (N), Wankhede, April 11, 2024, Indian Premier League
(15.3/20 ov, T:197) 199/3

MI won by 7 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)

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Will Mumbai change tactics and turn to spin against RCB?

Mumbai have not bowled a lot of spin at home this IPL but RCB's performance in the middle overs might make them change that

S Sudarshanan
S Sudarshanan

Match details

Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, 7.30pm IST (2pm GMT)

Big picture - Spin struggles of a different kind for MI and RCB

The security guards in the lower tier of the stands at the media end of Wankhede Stadium were kept busy on Wednesday. They all had 'ball retrievers' added to their job description for the evening.
Faf du Plessis had two stints at the nets. Glenn Maxwell one, Cameron Green one, Mahipal Lomror, Rajat Patidar, Tom Curran, Suyash Prabhudessai all one. And the prime focus was facing hitting spin. RCB had a plethora of net bowlers bowling spin and the batters' aim was to hit them as far as they could.
In the IPL since 2021, spinners have had an economy rate of 7.82 at the Wankhede Stadium. In the middle overs (7 to 16), they have returned 109 wickets at an economy of rate 7.76.
In IPL 2024, RCB have had a tough time against spinners in the middle overs. Their average of 50.75 for the loss of just four wickets may not be bad, but they have been the second-slowest scoring team against spin in that phase. Their strike rate of 125 is only better than KKR's 122.68 in the middle overs. Among RCB batters who have faced at least ten balls of spin in the middle overs, only Patidar (171.42) and Virat Kohli (142.42) have a strike rate in excess of 110.
All these point towards an area of weakness waiting to be exploited. However, Mumbai have not bowled a lot of spin at the Wankhede Stadium so far this year. Piyush Chawla and Mohammad Nabi combined for four overs in their previous outing, while Chawla was the lone spinner used for three overs against Rajasthan Royals. RCB's training methods suggested that they are bracing for a bit of spin test come match day.
So far in this IPL, Mumbai have bowled the least amount of spin - 18 overs of which Chawla has bowled 10. They have picked up just two wickets with spin and their economy rate of 11.22 is the worst among the teams this year.
In case Mumbai do decide to employ more spin, they have left-arm spinner Shams Mulani and Kumar Karthikeya, who can spin it both ways, to turn to. Will Mumbai change their methods to exploit RCB's potential problems?

Form guide

Mumbai WLLL (Most recent first)

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai ended their losing streak with a win against Delhi Capitals, and will be inclined to go in unchanged. But will they try and get in an extra spinner in Mulani in the line-up? If Mulani plays, Jasprit Bumrah could be used as an Impact Sub along with Suryakumar Yadav
Probable XII: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Hardik Pandya (capt), 5 Tilak Varma, 6 Tim David, 7 Romario Shepherd, 8 Mohammad Nabi, 9 Gerald Coetzee, 10 Piyush Chawla, 11 Jasprit Bumrah, 12 Akash Madhwal/Shams Mulani
Royal Challengers Bengaluru
Glenn Maxwell's low returns could tempt RCB into getting Will Jacks in the XI. Maxwell did manage to connect a few shots during nets, but has scores of 1, 0, 28, 3 and 0 in the season so far. RCB could also consider getting Suyash Prabhudessai in to shore up the lower order.
Probable XII: 1 Virat Kohli, 2 Faf du Plessis (capt), 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell/Will Jacks, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Saurav Chauhan/Suyash Prabhudessai, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Reece Topley, 9 Mayank Dagar, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Yash Dayal, 12 Himanshu Sharma/Mahipal Lomror

In the spotlight: Jasprit Bumrah and Cameron Green

There has been a vast difference between Jasprit Bumrah and the other Mumbai bowlers. Bumrah has an average of 19.60 and an economy rate of 6.12 while the others have averaged 35.60 and leaked runs at over 11 an over. Teams have tried to see off Bumrah and attack the others, but as he showed against Capitals, how Mumbai spread his overs through the innings decides how much they manage to limit the damage.
Cameron Green returns to the venue where he was immensely successful in IPL 2023 - 229 runs at an average of 76.33 and a strike rate of 172.18. Ahead of the season, he was traded by Mumbai to RCB, where he has been shunted up and down the batting order and is yet to have a telling impact with the bat. He had a short bowling spell on Wednesday after which he had a 20-minute batting stint in which he middled almost everything. Will he turn his IPL 2024 form around at the Wankhede Stadium?

Stats that matter

  • Kohli has been dismissed four times by Bumrah and three times by Chawla. But he strikes at over 152 against Bumrah and a shade over 130 against Chawla. Bumrah has also dismissed Maxwell five times in the IPL.
  • Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan are only the second opening pair to score over 1200 runs for Mumbai Indians after Rohit and Quinton de Kock. Rohit and Kishan have 12 half-century opening stands, the most for Mumbai in the IPL.
  • Mohammed Siraj is yet to dismiss Rohit in the IPL - 52 balls for 68 runs - while he has dismissed Kishan twice in 40 balls for 50 runs. On the other hand, Suryakumar Yadav has a strike rate of 225.92 against Siraj - 61 runs off 27 balls, out once.
  • Pitch and conditions

    A new surface - next to the one on which the previous two games were played - is likely to be used on Thursday. It is not too far off from the middle and hence, the square boundaries should be more or less equidistant. Evenings in Mumbai have been pleasant even if the afternoons have become hot.


    "You could look at [clarity in finisher's role] the other way and say that I get under pressure and the other guys have the freedom to go out and if they mess it up, then I come in after, so you can look at it from both sides."
    Tim David on whether there is more role clarity for a finisher than the others
    "The IP (Impact Player) rule gives an extra life to the team that is batting first or chasing, whatever the stage of the game might be. The interesting part is if teams are using overseas as impact player or local player. If it is a local player, I might have to lean on a few local players [in my team] and ask them what they do etc. The benefit for me playing a lot of leagues is that if it is overseas players [used as impact player], you are not underprepared because you are normally sat in a few meetings [in international cricket or franchise circuit]."
    How Reece Topley navigates through the Impact Player rule as a bowler

    S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Sudarshanan7

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