Date and time: September 28, Monday; 19:30 IST
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2020 preview
Two matches in, and it has already been a roller-coaster of a start for Royal Challengers Bangalore. After starting the season on a high with a come-from-behind victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad, dropped catches and poor batting contributed to a heavy defeat against Kings XI Punjab.
The bowling, in the face of KL Rahul’s onslaught, failed to hold its own. Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav’s lack of control and penetration is a cause for concern. In contrast, Yuzvendra Chahal’s early-season bowling form and Shivam Dube’s effective slow-medium bowling, which has brought four wickets and at the cost of eight runs an over, are the positives.
The batting line-up hasn’t collectively fired but isn’t a matter of concern yet. Devdutt Padikkal has shown promise with a half-century on IPL debit, while AB de Villiers has struck the ball crisply.
Aaron Finch’s lack of fluency against the new ball is not ideal, while Josh Philippe’s promotion to No. 3 in the previous match failed to bear fruit. Kohli has perished trying to play the big shot and is yet to identify the right batting position.
Two matches into the season, Mumbai Indians appear certain of their playing 11 while having a plethora of options within the squad to adapt to different conditions and surprise opposition. They will go into Monday’s fixture on a high after beating a strong Kolkata Knight Riders side and, in the process, snapping their six-match losing streak in the UAE.
Mumbai’s positives don’t end there.
Captain Rohit Sharma’s big knock early in the season sets him up for a productive campaign, while Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary have made good scores while spending invaluable time in the middle.
On the bowling front, Jasprit Bumrah was close to his best against KKR. Kieron Pollard’s recent bowling form augurs well for Mumbai in Hardik Pandya’s absence as the sixth bowling option.
RCB vs MI head to head in IPL
Mumbai Indians lead Royal Challengers Bangalore 18-9 in the head-to-head records.
MI won home and away last season.
Dubai pitch report and conditions
It remains to be seen which pitch is used for Monday’s fixture. Teams batting first in the last two matches at the venue have notched up scores of 206/3 and 175/3, making the most of the extra pace and bounce on offer.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have played both their matches at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and will be familiar with the conditions.
Dubai weather forecast
A maximum of 37-degree Celsius is forecast for Monday, with the temperature at night dropping to 27-degree Celsius.
The high humidity, at 71 per cent, will make the conditions challenging for the players.
IPL 2020: RCB vs MI playing 11
Probable Royal Challengers Bangalore playing 11: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Devdutt Padikkal, 3 Aaron Finch, 4 Josh Philippe (wk), 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Mohammed Siraj, 9 Dale Steyn/Chris Morris, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Navdeep Saini
Probable Mumbai Indians playing 11: 1 Rohit Sharma (c), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Saurabh Tiwary, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 James Pattinson, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
The result against Kings XI is an early wake-up call for Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are looking for improvement in all three departments ahead of the fixture against Mumbai Indians. RCB’s bowling is the greater concern and, therefore, how Chahal and co. fare against a strong Mumbai batting line-up could be decisive.