Coming on the back of heavy defeats, both Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) will look to get their act together and log their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday. Mumbai received a shot in the arm a couple of days back when their star pacer Lasith Malinga was cleared by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to take part in the IPL.
Virat Kohli's RCB, who are yet to win the IPL and regularly draw a lot of flak for that, were bundled out for 70, the sixth-lowest score in IPL history, in their first game of the this year's league against Chennai Super Kings.
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RCB lost the game by seven wickets after their bowlers did well to try and put up a semblence of a fight but it was never going to be easy with such a paltry total on the board. Not only did the team management read the conditions wrong, but the famed RCB batting line up was also guilty of poor shot selection.
Opening the batting, Kohli could manage just six, while AB de Villiers scored nine as barring Parthiv Patel (29), none of the batters reached double figures. Against Mumbai Indians, who have the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan and Ben Cutting, Kohli would know that his team will have to bat much better.
One positive aspect from their forgettable last match was the way wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal bowled, conceding just six runs from his four overs and taking a wicket.
What to expect?
Skipper Rohit Sharma would hope his bowlers get their house in order ahead of the RCB game and treat the Delhi poor show as a one-off. Mumbai's batting, except veteran Yuvraj Singh (53), looked ordinary too.
Talking of sub-plots, the battle between Kohli and Bumrah would be one to watch out for, with both players being at the peak of their powers in recent times.
Probable Playing XIs for RCB v MI:
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
(With IANS inputs)