The Rajasthan Royals-Mumbai Indians game looks to be a promising clash on paper at least. Both sides boast the same record from the four games they have played so far with Mumbai ahead on net run-rate.
However, looking closely at the form of the two sides, I would put Mumbai as the slight favourites.
When you go by the notion that T20 is essentially a batsman’s game, then it’s fair to say that the Royals haven’t quite been a run-scoring machine. Rahul Dravid is their leading run-getter and he’s got 145 runs, so while they have every reason to be pleased with their bowling and fielding efforts until now, they will need to start getting more runs on the board going forward if they are to become serious contenders.
In a way, this game against Mumbai will be a good test of their credentials since they will be up against an in-form bowling attack.
Mumbai are a team brimming with confidence after producing another comprehensive performance against the Pune Warriors. Perhaps the only small area of concern for them would be the batting form of their skipper Ricky Ponting.
Ricky has led the side superbly till now but he would surely like to have had some more runs to his name. While Mumbai have a sparkling contingent of overseas players waiting in the wings, I wouldn’t think about dropping Ricky.
Even as Ricky struggled against the Pune bowlers, Sachin was among the runs which was good to see. The ‘Little Master’ played the aggressor role and kept the scoreboard ticking which eased the pressure on Ricky and the duo went on to post their second half-century stand in four games.
In any case, it’s best, as they say, to avoid tinkering with a winning combination, although it’s always a good idea to test your bench strength sooner than later. After all, you don’t want a situation arising where you have a couple of key players out injured close to the playoffs and then having to introduce raw replacements.
And if there’s one player from the Mumbai roster whom I would like to see in action soon, it would undoubtedly be their ‘million-dollar baby’, Glenn Maxwell. Glenn must understandably be frustrated at not having got a look in so far. He’s a very dangerous all-round player and an asset to any team and the Mumbai Indians would do well to ensure he isn’t warming the bench for too long.
Professional Management Group