IPL 2021: Mumbai feeling the heat ahead of Royals clash

Ayaz Memon/Mumbai
Filed on April 28, 2021
Ishan Kishan has also sturggled to make an impact. (BCCI)

The major issue for Mumbai this season is their batting, which is not playing to potential

Having lost three of the matches they’ve played so far, Mumbai Indians aren’t looking like the defending champions this season. In fact, they’ve looked mediocre, which is an ungratifying situation for the team and their fans.

The major issue for Mumbai this season is their batting, which is not playing to potential. And skipper Rohit Sharma has highlighted that with growing exasperation after the last two defeats.

The batting has been inconsistent in the powerplay as well as in the death overs. Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan have flattered to deceive, wasting good starts. Suryakumar Yadav has been better, but nowhere near the brilliant form that he showed in 2020.

This has been compounded by the poor form of their big hitters who usually give Mumbai a boost in the finishing overs. Kieron Pollard has played just one decent knock, Hardik Pandya has none.

Pollard’s strike rate this season is an unthreatening 116.29, Hardik’s a paltry 97.

This has meant Mumbai have been defending very modest scores. While their bowling has been brilliant, the poor batting has allowed opponents to overwhelm the defending champions in three games out of five.

Will the new venue, Delhi, known for benign pitches, help their batting recover? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, Mumbai also seem to have a mental block against Rajasthan Royals, having won only one out of six last matches. This is a confidence boosting statistic for the Royals to carry on the field.

The Royals have been beleaguered by the loss of overseas players. Jofra Archer didn’t come because of injury, Ben Stokes left because of injury suffered in the first game, Liam Livingstone and Andrew Tye flew out this week because they didn’t want to spend any more time in the `bubble’.

That leaves RR with just four overseas players to pick from: Jos Buttler, Chris Morris, David Miller and Mustafizur Rahman. All four should play this game, but RR need more from Miller and heck of a lot more from Buttler to do well in this match and the tournament.

Like Mumbai, the Royals too have lost three and won two matches. Given their travails, as well as talent available, they start as underdogs. That could be an advantage for Sanju Samson’s team as all the attention and pressure will be on Mumbai.

Players To Watch Out For:

MI: Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma

RR: Sanju Samson, Chetan Sakariya, Chris Morris

Thursday’s match

Mumbai vs Rajasthan

2pm UAE Time

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