Match 12 IPL 2017 (2017-04-14) @ Bangalore (MCS)
The return of captain Virat Kolhi is vital for RCB. Last season he scored almost 1,000 runs in IPL matches and was the player of the tournament. He has been sidelined since the 3rd Test against Australia and RCB have missed his captaincy and batting. With teams limited to fielding 4 overseas players a match the availability of star India players is key.
In the last 3 seasons Mumbai won 4 and lost 2 against RCB. They started this season losing to RPS due to a brilliant knock from Steve Smith.
Since that loss Mumbai have won two games at home thanks to some hard hitting by the Pandya brothers and good bowling. The return of Malinga and Harbhajan after the first game has strengthened their bowling.
RCB have managed just 1 win from 3 matches. The return of A B de Villiers in their lost match resulted in an amazing knock from him but the team still lost. Kohli should add stability and runs at the top of the order that has seen 3 different opening pairs in the three matches.
The return Kohli is not going to help RCB\'s bowling. They have been poor so far this season and need Shane Watson to return to his form from last year.
The pitch in Bangalore massively favors batsmen. The average 1st innings score is 176 and the average first innings score is 195. Chasing teams have won 44% of IPL games here.
So far in the IPL I have won 6 match bets from 11 games. 3 of those loses have involved Mumbai. This time I have backed Mumbai at around 2.2 on Betfair. They are currently rated 95 compared to 90 for RCB. They have a much stronger bowling attack and their middle order batting is in form. If their top order can start to fire they will be hard to beat.
Kohli will return to the opening slot. Last match Chris Gayle made way for AB. With both Mills and Stanlake needed to maintain the balance of the bowling there is likely to be no place again for Gayle. Vinod only managed 7 from 12 balls last match so Mandeep Singh will probably open.
De Villiers was the only batsman to get going against KXIP. He scored a brilliant 89 off 46 balls out of a total of 148. He will be hoping that Kohli and rest of the team will give him more support this match.
Kedar Jadhav is RCB\'s top runs scorer this season. He suffered a rare failure last match scoring 1 from 4. Watson can return to the middle order where he performs much better these days. Opening he managed 24 of 24 balls and then was dismissed in the first over.
RCB will be hoping for more from Stuart Binny down the order. So far he has only managed 45 runs in 3 innings. The RCB tail has only been tested once. This was in the first match and it was unable to provide any support to Watson in the chase.
As was the case last season RCB will be hoping for the top order to make the runs. With the number 1 and number 2 rated Cricsq T20 batsman back in the side they will be hoping that this is the case.
The last two matches RCB won the toss and choose to bat. Without Kohli the thought was that their bowling was stronger than their batting.
Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has bowled well taking 3 wickets and going at a rate of 6.2 an over. Negi has only been used for 2 overs in 2 matches. He took 2 wickets in the final over in the victory over Delhi. It appears he has been under used. The third spin option is Iqbal Abdulla. He has being going at 11 an over for his 2 wickets in 2 matches.
After Choudhary\'s expensive 13.75 an over in the first match RCB brought in Billy Stanlake to the pace attack. He has taken 2 wickets and gone for 8.75 an over.
Mills is RCB\'s star paceman. But he has also been expensive going for 8.6 an over. He has taken 3 wickets and RCB will be hoping he can continue.
The form of Shane Watson is a worry. He has taken 1 wicket in 3 matches and is going at 10 an over. For RCB to do well this season they need him to return to his form of last year when he took 20 wickets.
Mumbai chased down 178 and 158in there last two matches at home. The dew factor in Mumbai meant that they had the advantage batting second. Their bowlers also ensured they had relatively small totals to chase. In their first match they set Pune 184 when they batted first.
They won the last 2 matches despite no contribution from their captain Rohit Sharma. He was their top scorer last season with 489 runs but only manage 9 runs so far this time. Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel have shown glimpses of form but neither have reached 50 yet. The success of Mumbai\'s batting have been down to their strong middle order. Nitish Rana is in fine form with 129 runs so far with a strike rate of 139. Pollard has chipped in with 55.
The Pandya brothers have scored at a very high strike rate at key moments. Hardik has 66 runs at a rate of 228. He helped Mumbai get a decent total in their first match and get up to win in the second. Krunal was back to form last match with 37 off 20 to seal Hyderabad\'s fate.
Mumbai cannot keep relying on the middle order as they cannot be expected to always perform. They need one of Robit, Buttler or Patel to start scoring big runs.
Mumbai failed to defend 184 against RPS. Their attack has since been strengthened by Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga.
Mitchell McClenaghan has been expensive going at over 10 an over. It is time for him to be replaced by Mitchell Johnson as an overseas bowler.
Mumbai has excellent death bowling with Malinga and Bumrah. Against Sunrisers they keep stopped them from accelerating at the end of the innings by taking wickets. Bumrah took 3 for 24 and Malinga 1 for 30. The introduction of Johnson will give them more at the top of the innings. Opening with Malinga they could present problems for Kohli and AB.
Harbhajan has bowled very well since his return. He has gone for around 6 an over and taken 2 wickets. If spin is required Krunal Pandya is available. He took 3 for 24 against KKR. If the wicket favors pace Hardik Pandya will bowl. He took 1 for 22 off 3 overs in the win against SRH.
Mumbai have a very strong bowling attack that should be able to adapt to all conditions.
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