New-look squad, same old story at the start of an Indian Premier League season. Mumbai Indians has yet again had an underwhelming start to its campaign. With the squad appearing to be far from being a potent force, it will be interesting to see if it can open its account against a recharged Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday night.
Three nights after being hit hard by Pat Cummins’ hurricane knock, Mumbai Indians will return to the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s International Stadium. The MI bowling unit, with Jasprit Bumrah as its lone flag-bearer, will be hoping to not let Dinesh Karthik repeat his heroics versus Rajasthan Royals.
Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed aren’t the only concerns for MI bowlers. Glenn Maxwell, set to make his maiden appearance of the season, will be gunning to tee off in style. Virat Kohli, the batter, too will be eager to stamp his authority against a side led by Rohit Sharma, his successor as India’s captain across formats.
While Royal Challengers don’t have too many gaps to fill, Mumbai Indians is really struggling. No wonder then that in his pep-talk to the team on Wednesday, Rohit used the term “desperation” multiple times.
The onus will be on Rohit, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav to play some good cricket to see the team through. These seasoned pros realise that despite having qualified for the Playoffs after suffering five losses in a row at the start in 2014, with a rejigged combination and a new format, the time indeed is running out for the five-time champion.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Faf du Plessis (C), Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudesai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Karn Sharma, David Willey, Rajat Patidar and Siddharth Kaul.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Anmolpreet Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Ramandeep Singh, SuryakumarYadav, Tilak Verma, Tim David, Arjun Tendulkar, Basil Thampi, Hrithik Shokeen, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Mayank Markande, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Tymal Mills, Arshad Khan, Daniel Sams, Dewald Brevis, Fabian Allen, Kieron Pollard, Sanjay Yadav, Aryan Juyal and Ishan Kishan.
Match starts at 7:30 PM.