Defending champions Mumbai Indians are all set to lock horns with Rajasthan Royals in the match no.20 of Indian Premier League 2020 on Tuesday. MI will be riding high on confidence as they won their last two games and the onus will be on RR to put their campaign back on track after suffering defeats in their last two outings.
However, Mumbai won’t take Rajasthan lightly due to their recent record against them as RR have defeated MI in their last four meetings.
Overall, the Mumbai Indians are level with the Rajasthan Royals 11-11 in the head-to-head record. The two franchises have crossed paths 23 times, but one of the games did not produce a result.
Talking about their record outside India, the Royals lead their rivals by 1-0. The Jaipur-based franchise beat the Mumbai Indians by three wickets in Durban during the 2009 season. Their other league fixture during the 2009 season was abandoned.
As MI and RR prepare to resume their rivalry in the desert, we take a look at top five enticing player battles in the offing.
Rohit Sharma (MI) vs Jofra Archer (RR)
The MI skipper has been inconsistent with the bat so far in the tournament and he will be aiming to rectify that. However, Rohit is striking the ball well and that doesn’t bode well for the opposition. He has already hit two half-centuries and scored a total of 176 runs in five matches at an average of 35.20 and a strike-rate of 144.26.
On the other hand, Archer will be hunting for wickets as the pacer has bagged just four scalps in as many matches but crucially for RR, his economy rate of 6.75 is one of the best.
Also, Archer has dismissed nine MI batsmen in just four fixtures, so he will have the psychological advantage over the defending champions.
Sanju Samson (RR) vs Jasprit Bumrah (MI)
Samson, who gave two Player of the Match performances in this IPL in RR’s victories at Sharjah – a 32-ball 74 followed by a 42-ball 85, would be raring to go against MI as he failed to perform in the last two games and got dismissed for single-digit scores.
However, Samson will be confident of finding his form back against MI as he is the leading run-scorer for RR in matches against Mumbai, with 431 runs.
Meanwhile, India star pacer Jasprit Bumrah did not got off to the best of starts in IPL 2020 and in the opening game of the season, Bumrah conceded 43 runs in his four runs and managed to get only one wicket. He is struggling to get back to his best but the pacer is just a performance away from finding his rhythm and being at his lethal best, especially in death overs.
Steve Smith (RR) vs Trent Boult (MI)
RR skipper Smith gave two stellar performances in Sharjah – a 47-ball 69 against CSK followed by a 27-ball 50 against Kings XI Punjab and he is at his lethal best during the powerplay. The Australian batting great has so far scored 127 runs in four games at an average of 31.75 and a strike rate of 147.67.
Trent Boult, on the other hand, has proven to be MI’s top bowler so far in this season with eight wickets in five games at a strike rate of 14.50. His ability to move the ball both in and away from the batsmen is what makes him dangerous. The southpaw also has a well-disguised slower ball in his armoury.
Kieron Pollard (MI) vs Shreyas Gopal (RR)
Pollard has been in explosive form this season as he boasts of a whopping strike rate of 208.97 in IPL 2020 so far. The Windies all-rounder has faced only 78 deliveries in the tournament so far but has smashed 163 runs, including 13 sixes.
Also, among the current players, Pollard has scored the most runs (351) for MI against RR and he has also picked up 14 wickets versus the Jaipur-based franchise.
For RR, Shreyas Gopal was the star performer in their last game against RCB. The leg spinner dismissed Aaron Finch and conceded only 27 runs in his four overs. He will aim to continue his good perform against MI.
Rahul Tewatia (RR) vs Rahul Chahar (MI)
Tewatia made headlines when he smashed five sixes in an over against KXIP this season to help RR chase down a record target of 224 runs. However, he has not been able to score big since then and will be looking to change that against MI.
On the other hand, Rahul Chahar bagged a three-wicket haul when MI last met RR. He will be hoping to repeat the feat and derail Rajasthan’s batting line-up.