Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR) – Key Battles

Wankhede Stadium has been a fortress for Mumbai Indians and they will back themselves to pull this off © IANS
Wankhede Stadium has been a fortress for Mumbai Indians and they will back themselves to pull this off © IANS

Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) enter the last group phase match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 with everything to play for. It is a virtual knockout match as either team can qualify for the IPL 7 playoffs with a win at Wankhede Stadium on May 25. While Rajasthan need a win to ensure progress, Mumbai need a massive win to overturn their net run-rate. Shrikant Shankar highlights the key battles that could decide the match.

Lendl Simmons vs Kevon Cooper

Lendl Simmons has been an absolute revelation for Mumbai Indians ever since he was picked. In only six matches, the West Indies batsman has scored 315 runs. He has struck two half-centuries and, more importantly, the only century in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 so far. He will face fellow West Indian Kevon Cooper at Wankhede Stadium on May 25. Cooper has not had the best of series with the ball, but Mumbai need a massive victory to overcome the odds and qualify for the playoffs. Cooper could just prove an unlikely hero for Rajasthan if the Mumbai batsmen try to hit too many boundaries.

Michael Hussey vs James Faulkner

Michael Hussey has also hit some good patch of form recently for Mumbai. Two of his last three innings include half-centuries. Hussey struck a quick-fire 33-ball 56 against Delhi Daredevils in Mumbai’s previous match. The equation for Mumbai is simple — if they bat first, a 42-run win is needed; if they bat second, victory must be achieved in 87 deliveries or less. Hussey will be tasked to give Mumbai a whirlwind start, whether batting first or second. Australian James Faulkner will look to get his compatriot out early. He has 11 wickets in 12 matches, but most importantly, Faulkner can send the ball a long way while batting.

Kieron Pollard vs Pravin Tambe

If Mumbai are seriously going to qualify for the IPL 2014 playoffs, then Kieron Pollard must come to the fore. As good as their other batsmen are, it is Pollard who can score faster than anyone else. He is the only batsman in the Mumbai line-up whose mishits sail over the boundary. He will have to watch out for leg-spinner Pravin Tambe. With 15 wickets in 12 matches, Tambe has been incredibly difficult to score against. Pollard will have to get underneath the ball as often as possible to clear the boundary.

The Mumbai indians skipper has been the team's most consistent batsman since the start of this season © PTI
The Mumbai indians skipper has been the team’s most consistent batsman since the start of this season © PTI

Rohit Sharma vs Shane Watson

Rohit Sharma is Mumbai’s best batsman and like any other, a lot will depend on him. He has scored 354 runs in 13 matches and is in very good form. The Mumbai captain is another who can increase his strike-rate in the course of an innings. In a T20 match like this, batting is more important. All of Mumbai’s batsmen need their best innings for the team to have any chance. Rajasthan captain Shane Watson will try his best to stop Mumbai from achieving their target. Watson is a proper all-rounder and can win matches with the bat and with the ball. He has a hat-trick to his credit and has scored 232 runs in 12 matches.

Harbhajan Singh vs Brad Hodge

Mumbai will need to restrict Rajasthan to a low score either way and for that they need their bowlers to take wickets regularly. Harbhajan Singh has the tendency to take the big-name wickets. But it will be interesting to see how Rohit utilises his main weapon in the bowling. Rajasthan bat deep with the likes of Brad Hodge and Faulkner. Harbhajan will probably need to bowl against them and exhaust his overs before they even come into bat. Hodge’s last two innings were knocks of 40 and 31. Rajasthan don’t need to win, they just have to keep Mumbai at bay long enough. A quick-fire innings from Hodge will prove enough for the Rahul Dravid-mentored team.

Marchant de Lange vs Ajinkya Rahane

Marchant de Lange replaced Krishmar Santokie for Mumbai against Delhi. While he did give a few runs away, de Lange was extremely quick. The South African can bowl at speeds over 145 kmph regularly and Mumbai will bank on him to get early wickets. Ajinkya Rahane has the technique and temperament to counter de Lange’s pace. The opener has scored 339 runs in 12 matches for Rajasthan and gives solidity to their batting. If he even stays at the crease till the 12th over, then Rajasthan will have a great chance of qualifying for the IPL 7 playoffs in place of Mumbai.

Note: Some of the above mentioned players may not even play for various reasons, but this match should live up to its ‘knockout’ expectations.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Bigg Boss 8 Day 40 highlights: Upen Patel faces captaincy woes; Gautam Gulati punished again!

Ayurvedic treatment: 7 types of Ayurvedic massages you should know about

Petrol rate cut by Rs 2.41 per litre, diesel to cost Rs 2.25 per litre less

Birthday Special: 9 popular dance songs of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan!

Man promised iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPad 4 and Macbook Pro for Rs 51,000, gets a ‘heavy brick’ instead

James Franklin, Colin de Grandhomme relay catch at the boundary to dismiss Nathan McCullum

Beauty Tip #43 — Get fuller-looking lips with home-made sugar scrub

NGOs pursue education for all

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Bigg Boss 8 Day 40 recap: Gautam Gulati calls Arya Babbar a dog and Praneet Bhatt a double dholki

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here