The Indian Premier League propels forward, delivering one firecracker match after another despite a venue and timeline change. Next up is a Clash in Blue between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
In the last 5 encounters that the two team have had, Rajasthan Royals have come out victorious in 4 of them. However, with refreshed teams and changed pitches, the past results will not matter going into this match.
So, what can be expected from the 20th match of the tournament as the table-toppers MI meet the #5 ranked RR? Lets’ find out.
RR’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far
Rajasthan Royals started their IPL 2020 blisteringly with two clinical wins over CSK by 16 runs and KXIP by 4 wickets. They then lost two in a row to KKR and RCB and dropped a few places in the table. Their run rate is running well in the negative as well.
They have shown quite the color by hammering a 216 in their inaugural match of this year’s IPL against CSK and again chased down KXIP’s 223 in the second one. It was the highest successful run chase in the history of IPL.
Players That Can Change The Game
Skipper Steve Smith led the batting attack with two consecutive fifties in the first two matches. Even though he fell short in the next two, he is due for big innings for tomorrow’s match. Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler are the other two batsmen to watch out for.
In the match against KXIP, the match had almost slipped out of the Royals’ hands when Rahul Tewatia stepped up and hit KXIP pacer Sheldon Cottrell 5 sixes 18th over to bring the match home for his team.
Jofra Archer has been as impressive with the ball as with the bat. He has scalped 2-18 and 1-18 in the last two innings. Tewatia has contributed with the ball as well, picking up a couple of wickets here and there.
RR is largely dependant on its top order to score or chase big runs. Whenever this has not happened, the team has failed to deliver. RR could use the all-rounder abilities of Ben Stokes, who is in UAE but currently under the mandatory six-day self-isolation period.
MI’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far
The defending champions are once again proving why they hold the highest number of trophy-wins in the tournament. With 3 wins out of 5 matches, they are at the top of the table with 6 points and +1.214 run rate. Mumbai Indians started slowly as they could win only one of their first three matches.
They lost the first match to CSK by 5 wickets, managed to win the second one against KKR by 49 runs, but against lost to RCB in a close encounter via Super Over. But they have got back their momentum with two back-to-back wins over KXIP and SRH by big margins in the last two matches.
Players That Can Change The Game
Mumbai Indians are likely to stick with their winning combination. So, one can expect Quinton de Kock to play a crucial role in batting (along with wicketkeeping) after his knock of 67 in the last match. Despite several criticisms, skipper Rohit ‘Hitman’ Sharma shows his good form with a 80 (54) against KKR and 70 (45) against KXIP, both in winning efforts. Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya are continuing their lower-order hard hitters from over the last few seasons.
Their bowling has been a weak link, with almost all the bowlers giving away crucial runs. The ever-dependable Jasprit Bumrah has not been quite impressive as he usually is in the MI jersey, but has still managed to pick up 7 wickets in 5 matches. Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, and James Pattinson are striking but not very economical.
The Venue, Pitch, And Verdict
Like all other UAE pitches, Abu Dhabi is a batsman-friendly, ideally high scoring pitch. However, spinners will get their chance of making a difference with some turn. The weather is expected to be dry and sunny, with the temperature reaching as high as 38° Celsius. There is no chance of rain playing spoilsport.
Mumbai Indians are the favorites for the match.