The Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians (RCB v MI). MI’s campaign received a massive setback with a devastating 85-run loss to SRH, a game in which 5 of the top MI 7 batsmen were dismissed in single digits.RCB, on the other hand, have finally managed 2 back-to-back wins, pushing them up to 6th place in the table and just 2 points behind MI. Given RCB’s much better run rate, a win against Rohit Sharma’s MI on Wednesday will push RCB up to 5th and in contention for a playoff spot. A win for MI, however, will push them into the top 4 itself . Both teams badly need this win – expect a tense encounter.
The Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. Undoubtedly one of this IPL’s flattest tracks, this ground can be expected to live up to its reputation as a batting paradise. In the last game here, RCB chased down 192 with ease, so they will likely look to chase again.
Our picks for your fantasy cricket team
Virat Kohli – Although King Kohli was dismissed for just 20 against KXIP, his batting at the Chinnaswamy stadium has been sublime. He looks determined to get his team through to the playoffs and although he is letting his bat do most of the talking, his comments to the press about Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Khan show that Virat won’t shy away from making a few tough statements with the microphone in hand.
Ambati Rayudu – The least known name in Mumbai’s otherwise formidable top 5, Rayudu is not to be taken lightly. He has averaged over 30 in this year’s IPL and racked up 2 half-centuries already, second only to Rohit Sharma in the MI side. His strike rate of 120+ also make him a threat against the weak RCB bowling lineup.
Yuzvendra Chahal – Our *wildcard* pick for this game, Chahal has not always made RCB’s playing XI, but has proven to be an impact player when he’s selected. Chahal picked up 2 key stumpings (though technically one was a run out) of Saha and Miller in 2 consecutive balls to help stem the KXIP chase and give RCB a win in their last game. He is a smart bowler who uses the leg break to perfection.
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(Original cover artwork by Ishita Mohanty. She tweets here.)