Winless Mumbai Indians (MI) will try to get their first points of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) season when they host a beleaguered Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL 2018 match at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. Both teams are yet to find their feet in the cash-rich league and are desperate to get some points on the board. Both the games played at the Wankhede so far have gone down to the wire and on both occasions MI have had their chances to register a victory but have failed to do so. First, against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the season opener and then to Delhi Daredevils.
If MI have their problems to sort out, having lost at the death in all three games so far, RCB too have their own shortcomings to address with only one win in three games under their belt.
Having lost all the three matches till now, the three-time champions led by Rohit Sharma are currently placed at the bottom of the table.
RCB started off on the losing note to Kolkata Knight Riders but brought their campaign on track immediately with a convincing victory over Kings XI Punjab at home and then lost a high-scoring game to Rajasthan Royals at home on Sunday.
RCB's bowlers, especially Umesh Yadav who had broken the back of KXIP innings with a three-wicket burst in one over, went for plenty against the Royals who set up the highest total so far of the season, 217.
RCB need to set right their bowling woes as MI possess a strong batting line up that threatened to score over 200 in their previous game before the Daredevils bowlers restricted them below that threshold.
Barring leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, who bowled brilliantly to grab 2 for 22, the other RCB bowlers had an off day against the Royals.
But on the positive side was the encouraging return to form of captain Virat Kohli who struck a quick-fire 57.
With a batting line-up boasting of Brendon McCullum, Kohli and AB de Villiers, no target will look insurmountable for the visitors, and three-time champions MI will be aware of this.
MI's batting, on the other hand, failed to rocket off in the first two games and when it clicked the bowlers lost the plot.
The move to promote local guy Suryakumar Yadav has been a success but their best batsman, skipper Rohit, is yet to make a big contribution with the bat.
The Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal along with giant West Indian Kieron Pollard too have not made big impacts in the first three games.
Rookie leg spinner Mayank Markhande has been their most successful bowler with good economy rate along with Mustafizur Rahman but Jasprit Bumrah has also not lived up to his tag of the world's best white ball bowler.
MI have replaced injured Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins with New Zealander Adam Milne and will be looking up to a comprehensive combined show to avoid a fourth straight defeat of the season.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma(c), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dhananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee.
(With PTI inputs)