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By Shrikant Shankar
Apr 18, 2014
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) clash with Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 on April 19. This is the fifth match of IPL 2014 and will be held at Dubai. Bangalore have started their campaign with a win. Defending IPL champions Mumbai lost their first match. This will be first match held at Dubai in IPL 7. It is also a double header as the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will take on Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the second match on Saturday.
Virat Kohli’s men eased to an eight-wicket win over Delhi in their first match on April 17. The bowlers did a fine job restricting Delhi sans Kevin Pietersen to 145 for four in 20 overs. Parthiv Patel, Kohli and Yuvraj Singh helped Bangalore chase down the total in 16.4 overs. Mumbai on the other hand, began the seventh edition of the T20 extravaganza with a demoralising 41-run loss against KKR on April 16. Kolkata posted a total of 163 for five and restricted Mumbai to 122 for seven in 20 overs.
Bangalore were without the colossus i.e. Chris Gayle against Delhi due to a back issue. Nic Maddinson came in and only scored four runs. It is safe to say that if the West Indies batsman is fit, Maddinson will make way and can have no qualms about it. RCB’s foreign contingent has always been their strength. This year, along with Gayle and AB de Villiers, they have Albie Morkel and Mitchell Starc. The Australian pacer did not have the best of debuts in the IPL, but will most likely get a chance against Mumbai.
It is Bangalore’s bowling line-up and Indian contingent that has always been their bane. While Kohli is a world class batsman, the rest of the Indians in the side have often struggled to make the national XI. But on Thursday, Bangalore’s lower-profile players stepped up. On a track that was considered to be prime for a 170-plus total, Bangalore’s bowlers restricted the Delhi batsmen to 145. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the Man of the Match with one wicket for 18 runs in four overs. Then there is the return to form of Yuvraj, who struck a fine 29-ball 52 with three fours and five sixes.
RCB will mostly retain the rest of the playing XI as continuation of the winning combination may be the order of the day. Parthiv will be the wicketkeeper and Varun Aaron will be expected to continue his good show. The Indian fast bowler took one wicket for nine runs in three overs. An area of mighty concern is the selection of Ashok Dinda. Constantly over the past few years, Dinda has come under heavy treatment from the batsmen. He gave away 51 runs against Delhi in his full quota of overs. Seeing that spin bowlers have been quite successful in the Middle East, RCB might be tempted to play left-armer Shadab Jakati.
Mumbai fielded a strong side against Kolkata, but just didn’t perform on the day. New signing Michael Hussey and Corey Anderson were unimpressive, but both are quality players and will show their ability sooner rather than later. Zaheer Khan is back and he bowled well. Lasith Malinga was exceptional with the ball, but one dropped return catch of Jacques Kallis proved costly. Mumbai are probably the best fielding unit in IPL, as showcased by Anderson with a brilliant catch of Kallis later, but in T20 cricket a missed moment can and did cost Mumbai the match.
The Indian contingent has always been very strong for Mumbai. They are led by Rohit Sharma and then there are the likes of spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha. Ambati Rayudu batted well against Kolkata with 48 runs. The others like Aditya Tare and CM Gautam should try to grab their opportunities quickly as talent is something Mumbai are not lacking. Then there is Kieron Pollard. The West Indian is a phenomenon and on a day can swing matches Mumbai’s way with bat, to a lesser extent ball, and his fielding which is magnificent.
A victory will always be cherished by any team, but Mumbai probably need it more than Bangalore. These are the two glamour sides in IPL and contests against each other have always been fascinating. There have been last-ball finishes in this fixture and some one-sided ones as well. One cannot predict which way the match will go, but the team that wants it more could walk away with the win.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel (wk), Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mitchell Starc, Ravi Rampaul, Vijay Zol, Sachin Rana, Yogesh Takawale, Nic Maddinson, Sandeep Warrier, Tanmay Mishra, Harshal Patel, Shadab Jakati, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Aaditya Tare (wk), Michael Hussey, Sushant Marathe, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Ben Dunk, Josh Hazlewood, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Shreyas Gopal, Jalaj Saxena, CM Gautam (wk), Krishmar Santokie, Marchant de Lange, Jasprit Bumrah, Apoorv Wankhede, Pawan Suyal.
Time: 16:00 IST | 10:30 GMT
(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)
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