RR opener Jos Buttler had a rare failure in the last match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) will face the Mumbai Indians (MI) in game 44 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Saturday. This will be the second match of the double-header. Rajasthan and Mumbai have experienced completely contrasting fortunes in the T20 league so far. RR are second in the points table, with 12 points from eight matches. They have lost only one of their last five games. In total contrast, Mumbai have earned the dubious distinction of being the first team to lose their first eight matches in an IPL season. Here are five player battles to watch out for in RR vs MI clash.

1. Jos Buttler vs Jasprit Bumrah: RR opener Jos Buttler had a rare failure in the last match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). That apart, he has been in incredible form, having struck three hundreds and two fifties. The last time, RR met MI, Buttler crunched his way to three figures in an easy win for the franchise. He will be looking to equal Virat Kohli’s record of four hundreds in an IPL season in Saturday’s match. Jasprit Bumrah was the one to dismiss Buttler at the fag end of the innings when the sides last met. He got his yorker spot on to clean up Buttler. Can he do it at the start this time?

2. Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult: MI skipper Rohit Sharma has been going through a lean patch in IPL 2022. His lack of runs have hurt an already weakened squad. He did get a start in the last match, but failed to convert it into a big score yet again. Under pressure, Rohit will be keen to deliver on his birthday. Will his luck turn? Kiwi left-arm seamer Trent Boult has struggled in the last few games, but has a terrific record against Rohit in international cricket. No longer part of MI, Boult will look to trap the right-hander with the ball shaping back in.

3. Sanju Samson vs Jaydev Unadkat: RR skipper Sanju Samson has scored only one fifty in IPL 2022 so far. But he is in terrific striking form and has played some fine cameos in the last few matches. His unbeaten 46 came off only 19 balls against the Delhi Capitals (DC). He was looking good against RCB as well until he fell to his nemesis Wanindu Hasaranga. Samson will be keen to continue his great striking. Jaydev Unadkat has done a decent job with the ball for MI. When he has got his line right, he has been effective. However, he can also spray it around. Which Unadkat will be up against Samson?

4. Suryakumar Yadav vs Yuzvendra Chahal: Suryakumar Yadav has been among the few bright spots for MI in an otherwise disappointing campaign. He has come in and given the innings some momentum with his sparkling knocks. He would be keen to carry on the good work and will hope for some luck to lift MI to their first win. RR leggie Yuzvendra Chahal will be a great match-up for SKY. He will look to unsettle the in-form batter with his cheeky variations. With two quality players up against each other, this tussle promises to be an interesting one.

5. Shimron Hetmyer vs Daniel Sams: Shimron Hetmyer has been sensational for RR at the death. He has come in and literally rocketed along, finding the boundaries with ease. Hetmyer has also struck some terrific sixes, clearing the boundaries with his brute power. He will be keen to continue his great form against MI as well. Daniel Sams has had a mixed run in IPL 2022. He has had one terrific performance, in which he claimed four wickets against CSK using his skills and variations to good effect. Can he stand up to the challenge against the dangerous Hetmyer?

–Renin Wilben Albert

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