IPL 2024: Desperate times for Royal Challengers Bengaluru as they take on equally struggling Mumbai Indians : The Tribune India

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IPL 2024: Desperate times for Royal Challengers Bengaluru as they take on equally struggling Mumbai Indians

The RCB are just a rung below MI in points table at the ninth position with MI winning just one out of their four games so far

IPL 2024: Desperate times for Royal Challengers Bengaluru as they take on equally struggling Mumbai Indians

Four losses in five matches have not only vindicated how poor RCB were in the last IPL auction, but they have also missed the opportunity to make it up with better on-field showing. PTI file



PTI

Mumbai, April 10

Desperate Royal Challengers Bengaluru will be under tremendous pressure to get their act together against an equally struggling Mumbai Indians when the two teams face-off in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.

Four losses in five matches have not only vindicated how poor RCB were in the last IPL auction, but they have also missed the opportunity to make it up with better on-field showing.

However, there is nothing much to separate the two teams as RCB are just a rung below MI in the points table at the ninth position with MI winning just one (29-run victory over Delhi Capitals) out of their four games so far.

Virat Kohli's brilliance, notwithstanding, RCB's campaign is under threat of falling apart even before they could register enough wins to have a real shot at the knockouts.

With the halfway mark of the ongoing IPL approaching rapidly, it is imperative for RCB's overseas stars, including skipper Faf du Plessis (109 runs), Glenn Maxwell (32) and Cameron Green (68) to find form.

Kohli's imperious form -- 316 runs with one century and two fifties at a strike rate of 146.29 -- has been the lone bright spot for RCB.

With the memories of his 50th ODI century in the World Cup semifinal at the Wankhede Stadium just five months ago still fresh, Kohli would be keen to flourish again at the same venue on Thursday.

Any bowling attack would be left searching for answers if one of their part-timers is topping the list of wicket-takers. And in RCB's case, whose bowling looked threadbare even before they hit the ground running, Maxwell's four scalps neither provide any respite nor assurance.

But their recent record against MI could boost RCB, who have won four of their last five games. The overall record in 32 matches, however, is tilted in favour of the five-time champions, who enjoy 18 wins against RCB's 14.      

MI would know present circumstances provide them with a ripe opportunity to build up on their recent success and move further up in the points table after a rough start.

For a side which invariably starts IPL with a few losses, MI know their way around these lanes. A contest against a floundering RCB could bring about their second win on the trot and some further boost in confidence, before facing defending champions Chennai Super Kings.

But it would be imperative for MI not to get too far ahead, since they also have their share of concerns.

Even though Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan have set the scoring tempo at the top, the middle-order has failed to carry the momentum for which skipper Hardik Pandya is answerable to a large extent.

It remains to be seen if the anger of MI fans against Pandya persists when he takes the field next, as he got some respite in their last game which was attended by thousands of children and not regular supporters.

Suryakumar Yadav's return amid a lot of attention ended in a damp squib, but the world's no. 1 T20 batter would be itching to hit the strides and get a big score.

Romario Shepherd's blitz against Anrich Nortje for 32 runs in an over clearly proved to be the difference against DC here, since the visitors managed to go past the 200-run mark despite not looking threatening enough while chasing an imposing 235-run target.

#Cricket #IPL #Mumbai


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