Mumbai Indians are set to clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore for the first time this season when both the teams meet today in Mumbai. While MI are presently ranked third with 14 points, the Challengers will have to clinch a few more victories before they find a position among the top four teams.
Mumbai have fared reasonably well in the recent past. Touted as tournament favourites, MI began the tournament with a bang having thrashed defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, in the inaugural match but they soon lost steam. Their star player, Sachin Tendulkar’s absence for a few matches seemed to dent their confidence. Also, Lasith Malinga’s injury did not help their cause. But currently, with both back in the side, it looks like they have found their confidence and are back to their threatening ways.
Meanwhile, Dwayne Smith is the new find for MI. His heroics against CSK would be remembered for a long time to come.
The Challengers, on the other hand, will have to get back to winning ways. Their victory against Deccan Chargers has certainly uplifted their morale. Although Chirs Gayle does not seem as threatening as he earlier did, yet RCB do not have much to worry about with the likes of AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan chipping in.
Bowling could be a cause for worry for the Bangalore side. If skipper Daniel Vettori sits out like he did in the tie against the Chargers, then it would be difficult to curb the opposition from scoring well. Adding to the woes, Zaheer Khan, no longer seems to be a threat to the rival batsmen.
Having lost to RCB in last year’s second qualifying final, Mumbai would hope to seek revenge and draw first blood in this edition.