One team is looking to push its way up the points table after making an extremely slow start to IPL 2009; the other team is desperately trying to arrest a slide which has pushed them all the way down to seventh place
May 10, 2009
Start time 12.30pm (10.30GMT, 16.00 IST)
One team is looking to push its way up the points table after making an extremely slow start to IPL 2009; the other team is desperately trying to arrest a slide which has pushed them all the way down to seventh place. Neither Bangalore nor Mumbai have emerged as favourites to lift the trophy after three weeks of action, but neither is out of the reckoning for a top four berth. Only one point separates them, and with just four matches left for each after this one, the margin of error for both teams - and especially the side which loses on Sunday - is minimal.
Going into the match, Bangalore are the slight favourites on recent form. Though they were drubbed in their last game by Rajasthan, Bangalore have been impressive in the last couple of weeks, winning three in a row. Anil Kumble's captaincy has worked wonders, Jacques Kallis and Robin Uthappa have had big knocks at the top of the order, and Kumble has led the bowling attack with aplomb.
Mumbai's fortunes, on the other hand, have nosedived after an impressive start and they are in danger of earning the underachiever's tag in IPL 2009. A team which boasts Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, JP Duminy, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga should be doing much better than three wins out of eight, but the big names have mostly misfired, and even Malinga has cooled off after an electrifying start to the tournament. And the fact that they've already won their two games against Kolkata, the punching bags of the IPL, doesn't help their cause.
Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: LWWWL
The batting has lifted in the last few games, but they're still prone to collapsing - as they showed against Rajasthan - thus putting far too pressure on the bowlers.
Mumbai Indians: LLLWL
The batting has been patchy, with only JP Duminy among the runs consistently. Even he hasn't always scored at the rate his team would like him to.
Watch out for
Tendulkar v Kumble: The two senior-most Indian players will also be leading their teams, and if Tendulkar sees off the new ball, it could be an interesting tussle between him and Kumble in the middle of the innings.
Bangalore will not have the services of Nathan Bracken, who is among the Australians who've been asked to rest ahead of a busy season. The bowlers have done a fair job, though, and Bangalore might be more keen to make a change at the top of their batting order. Wasim Jaffer has looked out of sorts so far, and could be replaced by Sreevats Goswami.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: (probable) 1 Jacques Kallis, 2 Sreevats Goswami, 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Rahul Dravid, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 Mark Boucher (wk), 7 Roelof van der Merwe, 8 Dillon du Preez, 9 Pravin Kumar, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Anil Kumble (capt).
The move to push Tendulkar down the order failed spectacularly on Friday, and it's likely he will move back to the top of the order. With Luke Ronchi failing too, Sanath Jayasuriya could partner him again.
In his last five innings Tendulkar has scored 63 runs. In his first three innings he scored 163.
In his last three games, Malinga has conceded 78 runs from 67 balls and taken two wickets. In the first five, he conceded 80 runs from 110 balls and took 11 wickets.
Bangalore have taken 21 wickets during the middle overs (from seven to 14), conceding 23.52 runs per wicket. Mumbai have taken 14 wickets at 30.85 during this period.
The two teams met a week back in Johannesburg, and Bangalore swept that one convincingly, restricting Mumbai to 149 and winning with plenty to spare as Kallis and Uthappa added an undefeated 126 for the second wicket.