Match 38 IPL 2017 (2017-05-01) @ Mumbai (WS)
Mumbai are second in the table with 7 wins from 9 matches. They are cruising to the play-offs. RCB are already out of the tournament with just 2 wins from 9 completed matches.
RCB got off to a good start when these 2 sides met at Bangalore earlier in the season. Kohli scored 62 off 47 balls. Gayle and de Villiers also got starts. Mumbai then started to take wickets and the middle order crumbled. RCB ended on 142 which Mumbai easily chased down.
RCB have scored 49, 134 and 98 in their last 3 innings. For team containing de Villiers and Kohli this is unbelievably bad. Now they are out of the competition the big question is if pride is a big enough incentive to play for. With Kohli and de Villiers coming off injuries will they play every match with the Champion's Trophy coming up?
Good players do not become bad players overnight. Gayle and Watson should be given another chance in the team. As they no longer play international cricket they have every incentive to perform to get future T20 contracts.
Mumbai started the season with a loss then went on a 6 match winning streak. Their play has been less intense during their last 3 matches. They beat Delhi after only scoring 142 thanks to their bowlers. They then lost against Pune failing to chase 160. Against The Lions they were cruising chasing 153 when their middle and late order batsmen failed.
The Mumbai pitch favored chasing earlier in the year. A big factor in this was the dew. Now we are into May this should be less important. Overall 52% of IPL matches since 2014 have been won by the team batting first.
I have backed RCB to win this match. They are currently 2.26 on Betfair and Mumbai are 1.8. RCB still have a strong top order and are capable of scoring a big total. They also have a decent spin bowling attack backed up by some useful seamers. Mumbai should be favorites but their form has dropped off recently and I think they are too short at 1.8.
The Mumbai batting line-up has all contributed during the season. The last 3 matches their intensity has dropped off. Their last 3 team scores are 142, 160 and 153.
Parthiv Patel was the only player to get going in the chase against The Lions on Saturday. He scored 70 from 44 balls. He has 239 runs with a strike rate of 137. He opens the batting with Jos Buttler. Buttler also has 239 runs. He has strike rate of 153.
Nitish Rana bats at 3. He is Mumbai's top run scorer on 285. He has been out of the runs the last 3 matches and Mumbai have suffered as a consequence. Rohit Sharma has 117 from 8 innings. He bats at 4.
The Mumbai middle order consists of Pollard, Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya. Early in the season they bailed the team out of trouble several times. Pollard has 214 runs with a strike rate of 130. Krunal has 134 runs and Hardik has 137 runs. Hardik's strike rate is 173.
Krunal Pandya and Harbhajan Singh bowled exceptionally well in the tied match against The Lions on Saturday. Krunal took 3 for 14 off his 4 overs. Harbhajan took the crucial wicket of Ishan Kishan and went for just 5.7 an over. Both Mumbai spinners have decent economy rates for the season. Harbhajan has gone at 5.9 an over and Krunal for 6.4 an over.
The Mumbai seam attack is led by Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah. They have both played in all 9 matches. McClenaghan is the top wicket taker with 11. He has gone at 9.1 an over. Bumrah has been exceptional at the death. He won the points for Mumbai with his bowling in the superover against The Lions.
Hardik Pandya has also been used to bowl seam. He has 4 wickets with an economy rate of 8.2. The final place in the attack is between Malinga and Mitchell Johnson. Malinga has 6 wickets but has been expensive going at 10.4 an over. Johnson has gone at just 7.1 an over in the 2 matches he has played.
On paper RCB have a very strong top order with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. This season the team batting has been terrible. The times when the top order has failed the middle and lower order has been unable to contribute anything.
Virat Kohli is the top run scorer with 219 runs. This is despite him only playing in 6 of the 10 matches. Against Pune on Saturday he was the only batsmen to get into double figures.
Travis Head opened with Kohli instead of Chris Gayle on Saturday. He was out for 2 off 5 balls. He has a total of 62 runs from 4 innings. Gayle has 152 from 6 innings and must be given another chance. He has no Champions Trophy ahead of him to worry about.
AB de Villiers has been disappointing. Like Kohli he was injured at the start of the season. He has 153 runs from 6 innings was a strike rate of 125. He has scored single figures in his last 2 matches.
Kedar Jadhav is the last of the recognized batsmen that played on Saturday. He has 213 runs for the season with a strike rate of 152. He started the season well but his form has dropped since the big stars returned.
On Saturday RCB played Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny and Pawan Negi in the middle order. They are all averaging just over ten for the season. Mandeep Singh has also had a poor season only scoring 73 runs from 7 innings.
It is time for Shane Watson to come back into the side. He was out of form before he was left out of the side. But, like Gayle, he no longer plays international cricket so he has an incentive to play well for RCB for the rest of the competition.
RCB's spin bowlers have been very good this season. Yuzvendra Chahal is their top wicket taker with 10. He has an economy rate of 7.5. Samuel Badree has 9 wickets from 5 matches. He has gone at 7 an over. Pawan Negi has been used more as the season has progressed. He has 8 wickets with an economy rate of 6.4.
RCB's seam attack has been unsettled. No bowler has been selected every match. Sreenath Aravind has bowled well taking 4 wickets with an economy rate of 8.5. Stuart Binny has chipped in with 4 wickets in his 4 matches.
The overseas specialist seam bowlers have all averaged 1 wicket for every match they have played with very similar economy rates of around 8.7 an over. The choice is between Tymal Mills, Adam Milne and Billy Stanlake.
Shane Watson deserves another chance. He has just 2 wickets from 5 matches and has gone at 10.5 an over. RCB need his all-round skills to balance the side.
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