The clash between two of the hottest sides in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI), has an added element of spice as Indian skipper Virat Kohli recently declared his fitness for the game.
The M Chinnaswamy Stadium will be packed to the rafters for the 4 pm kickoff as in-form MI look to continue their two-match winning run against the hosts, RCB, who have displayed indifferent form so far in the tournament.
The return of Kohli will certainly boost RCB’s chances but Mumbai look strong with the Pandya brothers playing a starring role for the side.
Here’s what the Mumbai line-up could look like against SRH –
The English wicket-keeper has been at his breezy best at the top of the order. He’ s dazzled the crowds with his wide array of shots and the small ground in Bangalore presents a fascinating opportunity for him to further display his skills.
Parthiv Patel has been trusted by the team management to be the perfect anchor for the attacking Buttler at the other end. There are a couple of issues with his performances so far though, one with the strike-rate and two, not allowing captain Rohit Sharma to open.
Coming back from injury is tough for any sportsperson, even for someone as naturally talented as Rohit Sharma. The IPL is craving for one of its biggest stars to find form and the game against RCB comes at just the right time for the skipper.
The hard-hitting left-hander has benefited from a role higher up in the batting order and has been Mumbai’s outstanding performer so far. He has shown that he has the temperament to build an innings and accelerate at the right time.
Kieron Pollard’s best moments so far have come on the field where he is still one of the best in the world. However, with the bat and the ball, his performances have been way below par. He has been one of Mumbai’s greatest servants and is always just one game away from finding form.
One-half of the lethal Pandya combination, Krunal Pandya must be setting his eyes on an India spot, much like what his brother managed last year. The darling of Mumbai’s campaign last season, he has improved with each game this time around. His major contributions have been with the ball.
With MS Dhoni’s diminishing form, Hardik Pandya is just a few knocks away from being regarded as one of the best finishers in the Indian side. He is someone who enjoys the spotlight, best highlighted during his supreme knock to win the game for his side against KKR.
He was axed for the first match, but Mumbai Indians’ most successful spinner, an integral part of the team across all seasons, returned to play the containing role. Mumbai have won both the games with him in the side. His effectiveness with the bat can't be understated either.
One of Mumbai and India's shining lights is young Jasprit Bumrah. He performs one of the toughest tasks in the T20 format, coming in to bowl at the death. It is a role he enjoys and revels in. He will be crucial as Mumbai look to stem the flow of runs against RCB.
The Mumbai team management were pleased when they acquired the services of experienced Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson. He is yet to get a look in this season, but can come in as a direct replacement for Mitchell McClenaghan
Malinga looks out of shape but in his two games after his return to the Mumbai side, he has shown why he is regarded as one of the premier bowlers in the format. Both his yorkers and slower balls are slowly returning to his game and he will be expected to pick up wickets early against RCB.