The Wankhede Stadium is a bastion of sorts for Mumbai Indians. Before the game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 6, the team had won its only game in the Indian Premier League 2014 at this very ground after having lost 5 games on the trot in the UAE. In this game too they prevailed against an opponent that had been performing better and now the side has started to take some steps towards a play-off finish that had appeared improbable a few days ago.
Team composition: The Royal Challengers went in with the same team that had won against Sunrisers Hyderabad in its previous game. The Indians were forced to make a change in the team that competed in the previous match owing to the injury to Zaheer Khan that has now made him unavailable for the rest of the tournament. They left him out and brought in Pawan Suyal, a left arm fast bowler from Delhi.
Batting: Bangalore won the toss and opted to field first. Batting first Mumbai reached a competitive total of 187 for 5 wickets in its 20 overs. The main contributor to the total was skipper Rohit Sharma with an unbeaten 59 from 35 balls. Kieron Pollard also batted well for his 43 from 31 deliveries and CM Gautam scored 30 from 28 balls atop the order.
Bangalore got off to a good start thanks to Chris Gayle (38 from 24 balls) and Parthiv Patel (26 from 19 balls). After that Virat Kohli (35 from 28 balls) and Rilee Rossouw (24 from 14 balls) tried hard but were unable to get their second win on the trot.
Bowling: Seamer Harshal Patel led the RCB bowling with 1 for 28 in 4 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal (1 for 30) and Mitchell Starc (none for 29) bowled well. Ashok Dinda (1 for 38 in 3 overs) and Varun Aaron (1 for 41) picked up wickets but were expensive – something that hurt the team badly in the final analysis.
For Mumbai, Jasprit Bumrah (2 for 22) was the best bowler on view. He was well supported by Lasith Malinga (2 for 29) and Harbhajan Singh (2 for 33) who picked up the crucial wickets of both the openers. Suyal, playing in his first match in this year’s tournament, was taken for runs (35 in 3 overs) but picked up the most important wicket of Kohli.
Where do the teams go from here?
Mumbai Indians have started to win and with this consecutive victory their self belief should only increase. The team does not need to change as of now and the members need to make sure that they do the basics well. However, batting still remains an area of concern. Perhaps playing Lendl Simmons instead of Corey Anderson, who has failed to perform so far, could be the way to go.
As far as Royal Challengers Bangalore is concerned the team should not be worried too much about missing out on this win. The side is perfectly balanced at the moment and there are plenty of decent replacements in every department should they choose to go that way. However, they should try and play Albie Morkel because as a batsman he has the capability to finish a match and he can also bowl 4 overs quite competently.