Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians – two teams that are still hoping to reach the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, meet each other in match number 51 on Tuesday in Sharjah. MI are placed seventh in the standings after having claimed 10 points from 12 matches, winning five and losing seven. They have a NRR of -0.453. Meanwhile, the Royals also have 10 points from 12 matches. They have a slightly better NNR than MI (-0.337).
The upcoming clash between the two teams is a must-win and expect things to go down the wire. Whichever side wins this match, will stay alive in terms of having a chance to grab fourth place. Kolkata Knight Riders are ahead of these two and face RR in their final encounter.
The Royals from a position of confidence. They blew the Super Kings away the other night, making a mockery of the 190-run target. Openers Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal gave a brilliant display of T20 batting to help their side seal the deal. On the other hand, MI are in a spot of bother, having won just once out of their matches in the UAE so far since IPL resumed. They suffered a defeat against DC and need to bounce back.
Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.
Key details of the match
The match is set to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here’s the preview
The Royals finally picked a side that looked balanced on paper and on the field as well. Glenn Phillips can be a pivotal force in that middle order and Shivam Dube’s return to the side bolsters them significantly, RR’s strength is the top-order, consisting of Lewis, Yashasvi and Sanju Samson. If these three can get going and set a platform, then the others can come and hope to chip in. Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman, and Rahul Tewatia are RR’s prime hopes with the ball. All three have done well on a consistent basis this season. RR are a side that can produce fireworks but that needs to come on a consistent basis.
A top side like MI have been below par this season and are facing a risk of missing out on the playoffs. For MI, the math is simple, beat RR by a good margin and then win their final game as well against the bottom-placed SRH. This will take them to 14 points. If KKR win their game against RR, then things will come down to NRR. So winning big and handsome is MI’s mantra. MI need to bat well against RR, something that has evaded them this season consistently. MI are a quality side when it comes to bowling, but the bowlers need runs to defend totals. One should expect Jasprit Bumrah to fire for MI as he has been doing consistently.
Probable playing XIs: RR vs MI
RR probable playing XI:
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Evin Lewis, Sanju Samson (c&wk), Shivam Dube, Glenn Phillips, Rahul Tewatia, David Miller, A Singh, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman, Mayank Markande
MI probable playing XI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Dream11 team prediction (option 1)
Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Sanju Samson, Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, S Yadav
All-rounders: Kieron Pollard, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube
Bowlers: Coulter-Nile, Mustafizur, Jasprit Bumrah
Dream11 team prediction (option 2)
Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Sanju Samson, Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Quinton de Kock, Glenn Phillips
All-rounders: Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube
Bowlers: Coulter-Nile, C Sakariya, Jasprit Bumrah
Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?
In terms of the top picks, the batting department can have Samson and Rohit. Both these captains have an important task ahead of them in a must-win scenario and would like to lead their sides from the front. They are pivotal players in their sides’ top-order.
In terms of picking an all-rounder, Tewatia can be a sound option. The spinner has seven wickets this season and has bowled well of late. With the bat, we all know how explosive he can be when needed at the death.
Jasprit Bumrah is the ideal choice in terms of bowling. He is the fourth-highest wicket-taker this season (17). Bumrah can be immense at the death and most importantly, he enjoys bowling against RR (12 wickets from nine matches).
Dream11 fantasy: Captain choices
Sanju Samson: RR skipper Samson can be chosen as the leader of this Dream11 side. He is a true performer and is batting well for RR. Samson has already scored 480 runs this season and is the third-highest scorer. He is in line to surpass the 500-run mark and his keeping will also be of immense help for those extra points.
Rohit Sharma: MI skipper Rohit gets our backing as the captaincy choice. With MI’s middle-order not having the best of times, Rohit’s significance becomes all the more crucial. He is a solid batsman and with De Kock, he can provide the right start. Rohit has 341 runs this season and is the top scorer for MI.
Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices
When it comes to choosing a vice-captain, it’s crucial to identify the consistent performers. RR batsman Yashasvi has had a new lease of life this season and the youngster is playing an aggressive brand of cricket. His exploits can ruffle MI’s feathers.
Another crucial choice on offer is Bumrah. The senior MI pacer is a real performer every single season and you can count on him to gain maximum points with his effective bowling.
Pitch report and conditions
The pitch in Sharjah has been on the slower side which has surprised teams. Batting hasn’t been easy here and only RCB posted the highest score here, getting past 160. With the nature of pitches being slow, batsmen need to take their time and be patient. Out of the six games here so far, four have been won by teams batting second. In terms of the conditions, there is nothing new as humidity and heat will be seen as usual.
What happened in the previous meeting between the two?
The previous meeting between the two sides this season saw MI overcome RR by seven wickets.
Out of 24 meetings between the two teams, MI have won 12, whereas RR have gone on to claim 11. Interestingly, RR have won five out of their last seven meetings against MI.
We feel RR can trump MI here and make it a winner takes it all against KKR. The Royals have now found a balance and it’s a good side. For MI, their batting seems to be a worrying factor.