Things are heating up slowly in the Indian Premier League Season 9. In one of the most anticipated matches of the IPL, Mumbai Indians will lock horns against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 14th match of the IPL. The match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. With already 3 losses in 4 matches, MI will be looking to come hard at the opposition but they’ll have a huge task on their hands as RCB are a strong batting side and coming out on top against them won’t be easy. Let’s have a look at how MI can alter their squad after their last defeat against SRH.
Top Order: MI had made a few changes in their top order in the game against SRH. Kieron Pollard’s place in the side was filled in by Martin Guptill. Guptill was out for just 2. And Parthiv Patel who opened the innings with him couldn’t contribute much either. As they approach a big match, they can stick with Parthiv Patel and Rohit Sharma as openers because the duo has undoubtedly been the best pair of openers for them in this year’s IPL. Against RCB, MI could also get in Unmukt Chand at no. 3 and see how he goes. Since batting has been their main area of concern, they should look to do their basics right and not lose too many wickets in the first 10 overs. Also, if Rohit Sharma gets going in front of his home crowd, he can quickly take the game away from the opposition.
Middle Order: Since the middle order has seen a lot of shuffling in the last few matches, MI’s middle order has suffered a lot. Jos Buttler couldn’t get going against SRH when his side needed him to perform. And Hardik Pandya has not applied himself at all ever since the first match of the IPL this year. Hardik hasn’t crossed single-digit scores in the 4 matches that his team has played. But on the contrary his brother Krunal Pandya has been the find of the season so far for MI. Krunal was economical with the ball against Gujarat Lions and played a superb cameo against SRH too. The left-hander scored 49 off 28 balls but couldn’t get his first half-century in the IPL. Since, his performances haven’t been up to the mark, Hardik Pandya could well be dropped in place of Unmukt Chand. Kieron Pollard if he recovers could come in for Guptill or MI could also go in with New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson.
Lower Order and Bowling: MI have a mighty bowling unit. Harbhajan Singh with his experience of playing at the Wankhede might cause some problems for the RCB batting line-up. He will have a task on his hand when he comes onto bowl against players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who have been in splendid form. Krunal Pandya could also come in handy for MI if the ball starts turning. The pace attack looks settled with Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah. Southee picked up 3 wickets for 24 runs in the last match. McClenaghan had an off day against SRH but has shown in the earlier matches that he can be very accurate with the ball and can smash a few with the bat too.
Mumbai Indians likely Playing XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Rohit Sharma (c) , Unmukt Chand, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard/Corey Anderson, Krunal Pandya, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah