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RCB will rely on Shane Watson to perform with both bat and ball  © AFP

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) face defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in match 41 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016. RCB will feel comfortable knowing that they are playing the tie at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore where they have a good record. RCB, who are coming off a 1-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderababd (SRH) in their previous game, will know how close for comfort the match got. The team’s batting has been focal point for them in the series while the bowling has been the problematic area. Virat Kohli will know that the only chance RCB has of qualifying for the playoffs is if they win 4 out of their remaining 5 games, which will be nothing short of a miracle. Having lost the away tie to MI, RCB will loking to redeem themselves at home in his crucial tie. With pride and qualification on the line, Vishal Mehra lists down the RCB likely XI which might field against MI. Full Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2016, Match 41 at Bangalore

Top Order: RCB have been lucky with their opening stand as KL Rahul and Virat Kohli have been consistent at the top. Dropping Chris Gayle from top of the order hasn’t hurt RB yet because of the way Kohli and Rahul have constructed the innings. Rahul, especially, has been aggressive unlike himself, while Kohli has been in his unstoppable rage in the IPL. Kohli is also the leading run-scorer in IPL 2016 with 561 runs to name so far, while Rahul has 264 runs. Coming in at No.3 is their talismanic batsman AB de Villiers, who struck a destructive 35-ball 64 to announce himself back in form in RCB’s last match against SRH. De Villiers is also second highest run getter for RCB with 385 runs and sixth in the list of IPL run scorers this year.

Middle Order: Shane Watson has been RCB’s backbone, he has mostly played second fiddle to Kohli in earlier matches but has shown his class and temperament with a few quick-fire cameos as well. Watson has been an important player for RCB in regards to his bowling as well as proved in the last match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Sachin Baby, who came in the place of Sarfaraz Khan who was exceptional with the bat in the opening few matches, has been another revelation for all to witness. Baby, in the four matches he has played in IPL 9, has put his hitting skills to good use and also excelled on field which put him ahead of Sarfaraz as already explained by Kohli.

Travis Head, who replaced Gayle in the line-up, has so far not lit the IPL on fire with his batting but can do so anytime. Known for his brute force with the bat Head will be expected to make that much needed 20-30 run cameos coming down the order. Another all-rounder in the list who may be available is Stuart Binny. Binny so far has been primarily used as a second change bowler and failed to live up to the batting standards he has shown in the previous editions. With the bowling line-up looking fragile he needs to up his game and provide the much needed support to his captain.

Bowling: RCB’s bowling has been anything but disappointing so far in this season. Getting easily taken for runs match after match is a hard thing to achieve which sadly for them their bowlers have managed. It is only Yuzvendra Chahal who has showed consistency with the ball for them, picking up wickets and containing opponents with his witty spin bowling. Pace man Varun Aaron has been up and down with his performances so far giving more runs than picking wickets. RCB’s new recruit Chris Jordan, who was taken to the cleaner by KXIP in their last, will hope for a much improved show this time round. Iqbal Abdulla who was brought in to support Chahal will want make his presence felt in the match against a fragile MI middle-order, as he had registered a 3-wicket haul in their earlier clash.

Royal Challengers Bangalore likely XI: Virat Kohli (c), Lokesh Rahul (wk), AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Chris Jordan, Iqbal Abdulla, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal.

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime, and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @capturethecatch )