With just three fixtures remaining for Rajasthan, such is their current position that even three wins don’t guarantee them a spot in the playoffs and they have to hope that other results go in their favour. A win means different things for both teams in RR vs MI, a win for Mumbai will mean that they can strengthen their claim for the top two spots in that points table and a win for Rajasthan means that they stay alive in the competition for another match week.
Mumbai have been a far superior unit than any team this season. Usually, they are slow starters but this season they have been a class apart. Team Rajasthan, on the other hand, have lost three out of their last four games. They started the season on an extremely promising note with back-to-back wins in their opening two games but it has been all downhill ever since. RR vs MI has been a tightly contested rivalry over the years with Mumbai holding the edge with 11 wins as compared to 10 by Rajasthan.
Jofra Archer vs Jasprit Bumrah
The battle of the pace might be the match-defining battle for this fixture. Both Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer are the spearheads of their respective teams in the bowling department in this season. Bumrah has taken 17 wickets so far in this season, while Archer has taken 15 wickets.
Jofra Archer has a better economy rate, dot ball percentage and wicket contribution as compared to Bumrah. He also has the most dot balls by any bowler in the competition and seems unplayable at times when he’s at it. He might just be the best bowler in this match and at 1.95 you can bet on Rajasthan having the top bowler of the match.
If Jasprit Bumrah is reading this, he’d completely disagree with this notion. Jasprit Bumrah bowls the difficult overs for Mumbai more often than not and has outbowled Archer in the death overs. We’ve seen the ball swing at Abu Dhabi for the initial few overs and Bumrah will look to cash in with the new ball as well.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Steven Smith who began the season with back to back fifties has lost his ways post these two knocks and has moved down the order as the league progressed. Further, if we look at the runs, he has scored in the tournament with respect to his batting position 52.95 % of his runs have come while batting at number three and he should continue to do so for the remainder of the matches. He loves batting against the defending champions as he averages 46.4 against them over the years and we might just see his class in this match.
In the previous match between these two teams, Suryakumar Yadav’s unbeaten 79 off 49 balls helped Mumbai post a massive total of 193. He has looked in fine form this season as well but he hasn’t always been amongst the highest run-getters. We should be able to see the best of Surya in this match.
Mumbai are likely to line-up without their captain Rohit Sharma as he continues to struggle with a hamstring injury. Kieron Pollard is likely to lead the team in Rohit’s absence.
RR: Robin Uthappa, Jos Butler (WK), Steven Smith (C), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Jaidev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal, Karthik Tyagi
MI: Quinton de Kock (WK), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard (C), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
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