Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals — two teams in the same situation and sitting at 10 points from 12 games with only a slight difference in net run rate — will clash later on Tuesday to take a step closer to enhancing their chances of a fourth-place finish and eventually, the playoffs qualification in IPL 2021.
The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians have had a forgettable run in the UAE having lost four of their last five games, with the only win coming against the Punjab Kings. Though they made a huge effort with the ball against Delhi Capitals, the five-time champions couldn’t put enough runs on the board to seal a win. The team will have to shake off its rustiness and get into the groove to win this one.
While Rajasthan Royals are also sailing in the same boat, they are coming off a seven-wicket win against Chennai Super Kings, chasing down a 190-run target with ease.
Youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal (50) opened well and Shivam Dube (64*) came in at number four to finish the game well for the Rajasthan Royals.
The Mumbai Indians bowlers have done well, both in the first and second leg of the IPL. While the first leg had MI bowlers defend totals around 150, the most recent game saw MI push a game where the team had to defend 130 to the very last over.
In bowling coach Shane Bond’s words, the bowlers almost gave MI a chance to win a game that seemed way far ahead of reach.
The Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals have given each other tough fights in the 24 times that the teams have met. Mumbai Indians have 12 wins over RR, who have one less win than that against the team they’re going to be facing next. There has been one game with no result, and that has tipped the numbers 12-11 towards the Men in Blue and Gold.
The two teams had last met at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium where a game unfolded with a good display with the bat from both sides. Rajasthan Royals batted first and set a target of 172. In response, Quinton de Kock steered MI to a 7-wicket win with an unbeaten 70 (50). The South African’s knock, along with Krunal 39 (26), brought MI home in just 18.3 overs.
The winner of this clash will move to 12 points and fight for the fourth position, which is currently held by the Kolkata Knight Riders. The teams will need a very healthy run rate too to make it ahead in the tournament.