Virat Kohli's RCB have so far failed to put up an impressive bowling performance which has been one of the matters of concern for the team © AFP
Virat Kohli’s RCB have so far failed to put up an impressive bowling performance which has been one of the matters of concern for the team © AFP

It is Match 41 of the ninth season of Indian Premier League (IPL) as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) take on Mumbai Indians (MI) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. Both RCB and MI are struggling to get to the top four. Virat Kohli‘s RCB have so far failed to put up an impressive bowling performance which has been one of the matters of concern for the team. The positive, however, has been their heavy batting line-up with all the stars performing really well. MI, on the other hand, have a very good bowling attack and a good batting line-up as well but failed to act as a team. Before the match, here are the key battles that can be expected during the match. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2016, Match 41 at Bengaluru

Virat Kohli vs Tim Southee: Tim Southee opens the MI bowling, which is followed by a number of talented bowlers later. Virat Kohli opens the batting for RCB which is later on carried forward by a number of powerful hitters of Twenty20 (T20) cricket. Both the players are expected to provide the perfect start—one not conceding runs and rather scalping wickets and the other scoring as much runs as possible and staying at the crease. With both the talented players facing each other at the very start of RCB’s innings, it will be a contest to look out for.

Jasprit Bumrah vs KL Rahul: Two young players, trying to make a mark with their individual performances, will face each other as Jasprit Bumrah bowls to KL Rahul. Bumrah, who made a surprise national team debut, has not looked back ever since. The bowler has displayed a great bowling action and has maintained his form. Again, it was not easy for KL Rahul to replace a big name as Chris Gayle and play his own game. But the batsman did that and has put up commendable performance so far.

Rohit Sharma vs Chris Jordan: After facing a lot of trouble in finding a proper front-line pacer, RCB now have Chris Jordan for a change of fate. Rohit Sharma, the captain of MI, is one batsman upon whom the batting depends immensely and Jordan, who will supposedly bowl towards the start of MI’s innings, is likely to face Rohit. While Jordan will try to prove his efficiency with the ball, Rohit will try to hold on to his ground and not give away his wicket.

AB de Villiers vs Mitchell McClenaghan: AB de Villiers is one pillar of the RCB middle-order batting who has a lot of hopes lying upon his shoulders. Over the years, de Villiers has been the go to man for the team whenever the team has been in need of runs. And when Mitchell McClenaghan comes up to bowl to him, it has to be something to take a look at. McClenaghan’s bowling has been economical, clever and successful throughout this IPL season, making him a key player for the team. The bowler keeps on producing chances for the team to get the opponent batsmen and de Villiers will surely enjoy taking up the challenge to face McClenagahan.

Shane Watson vs Krunal Pandya: It is a fight between two all-rounders as Krunal Pandya of MI take field against RCB’s Shane Watson. Watson has been one of the most crucial names for RCB. Be it batting or be it bowling, his contributions have resulted in RCB’s benefit. Similarly, Krunal Pandya has been one revelation for MI and has been exceptional for the team with both bat and ball. Whose contributions will be for a winning cause in this match?

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)