What on earth has happened to the Mumbai Indians? It seems like only yesterday they were raising the 2017 IPL trophy, now they find themselves struggling to win a single match. As for the Royal Challengers, they’ve severely-underperformed just like last year which would be extremely frustrating for their supporters.
If you haven’t been following this year’s IPL, you’d take one look at the standings and think to yourself just how poorly the Mumbai Indians must be playing. That’s not the case at all, in fact they’ve been quite impressive in all three losses which sounds like a bit of a cliché, but honourable defeats aren’t going to get you anywhere in the competition I’m afraid. Three-consecutive losses to start their tournament is the worst possible outcome, they somehow need to find a way to turn those close defeats into victories before it’s too late. Because Mumbai has come so close to winning in all three games, they’ve still managed to produce some solid contributors such as Suryakumar Yadav (124 runs) and Ishan Kishan (93 runs) proving to be efficient scorers with the bat, while Mustafizur Rahman (5 wickets) and Mayank Markande (7 wickets) in particular have been Mumbai’s wicket-taking outlets. Despite getting carted for 42 runs against the Daredevils in their last outing, Markande has been Mumbai’s X factor in the bowling attack claiming seven wickets in his first two matches of IPL 11. Skipper Rohit Sharma is a man who looks down on confidence at the moment, he’s averaging just 14.66 in the tournament so far and sadly could be part of the reason why Mumbai have slumped in 2018 given his own troubles. The Pandya brothers are a huge asset to have in the middle-lower order as well as bowling options when required, Hardik needs to start displaying his ability with the bat as a quick-scoring all-rounder, Krunal impressed against Chennai scoring an unbeaten 41 striking at 186.36 which gives you a fair idea of how he goes about things. They’ll really be relying on the bowling attack to take down Bangalore’s fab-four in the batting order, Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman are two of the best strike bowlers in twenty20 cricket which should make for an entertaining evening in Mumbai.
Arguably Bangalore’s weakest facet of the game for a number of years now brought them to their knees against a destructive Rajasthan Royals outfit, the bowling attack were made to look like amateurs as Sanju Samson and his Royals teammates bashed & crashed their way to a huge score in Bengaluru the other day which proved to be too much for the Royal Challengers. That’s the risk of playing three overseas specialist batsmen I suppose, even if they’re all on fire the bowling cartel only had one notable foreigner in Chris Woakes who received nowhere-near enough support when Samson went on a hitting-frenzy. Finishing with 2/47, Woakes has been extremely consistent in his wicket taking over the course of the first three games while fellow-seamer Umesh Yadav had an absolute stinker with the ball, going wicketless and conceding a whopping 59 runs from his full quota of overs. Leggy-Yuzvendra Chahal had his best outing of the tournament with the ball finishing with 2/22, but it was to no avail as Rajasthan finished their innings 217/4. It might be time to give Brendon McCullum a break after scoring just four runs in his past two innings, that would allow an extra all-rounder or bowler which they’re in desperate need of at the moment. Apart from AB de Villiers who has been a livewire yet again for RCB scoring 121 runs in the tournament, Mandeep Singh has probably been their second best performer with the willow averaging 53 & scoring 106 runs from his three innings in 2018. It was relieving to see Virat Kohli score his first fifty in IPL 11 producing a brisk-57, but if Bangalore are any chance of elevating themselves up the standings he’ll have to produce a few more of those performances alongside AB who can always be relied upon to produce a breathtaking knock. Instead of their batting, RCB might want to focus more on how they approach the opposition’s innings with the ball in hand, they clearly have the batting side of things covered.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Mumbai Indians | 14th match | Mumbai
- Ishan Kishan
- Krunal Pandya
- Mayank Markande
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Mustafizur Rahman
Wildcard pick – Hardik Pandya
Top 5 fantasy picks | Royal Challengers Bangalore | 14th match | Mumbai
- Virat Kohli
- AB de Villiers
- Mandeep Singh
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Chris Woakes
Wildcard pick – Washington Sundar
It might be time to bring in South African all-rounder JP Duminy who has developed into more of a specialist batsman these days, but can still produce a couple handy overs of part-time spin if required. While Kieron Pollard is a big-hitter in Mumbai’s middle-order, Duminy’s ability to control an innings could see him become a vital component to the team. Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya’s spot in the side could be at risk after Delhi’s batsmen dominated him in Mumbai’s last match, opening the door of opportunity for Mitchell McClenaghan who was dropped earlier in the tournament.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
After seeing Delhi’s Colin Munro lose his spot just two games into their campaign, that just proves that ANY player is droppable no matter how talented or experienced they are. Former Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum is in a similar position to Munro, although his 43 in RCB’s first match against Kolkata might have satisfied them for the time being. More often than not, you have to take the good with the bad for a player like McCullum, he’s rarely-ever dropped in franchise teams. A more likely-possibility which is unfortunate for Quinton de Kock would be to play Parthiv Patel in place of the South African keeper which would allow for an overseas all-rounder to slot into Bangalore’s middle order. Their bowling however could be forever changing throughout the IPL fixture, they have so many different options it’s hard to comprehend who they’ll turn to next.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Suryakumar Yadav 2. Evin Lewis 3. Ishan Kishan (wk) 4. Rohit Sharma © 5. JP Duminy/Kieron Pollard 6. Hardik Pandya 7. Krunal Pandya 8. Akila Dananjaya/Mitchell McClenaghan 9. Mayank Markande 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Mustafizur Rahman.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (possible) – 1. Parthiv Patel (wk) 2. Brendon McCullum 3. Virat Kohli © 4. AB de Villiers 5. Mandeep Singh 6. Colin de Grandhomme/Corey Anderson/Moeen Ali 7. Washington Sundar/Pawan Negi 8. Chris Woakes 9. Umesh Yadav 10. Kulwant Kherjroliya/Mohammed Siraj 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.