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Will struggling Rajasthan do the double on formidable Mumbai?

April 19, 2019 13:38 IST

Rajasthan Royals will take heart from the four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium last Saturday.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals have a dismal record at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur. Apart from a lone victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore, they have lost three matches at home.. Photograph: BCCI

Fast running out of time, a struggling Rajasthan Royals will hope to complete the double against Mumbai Indians in a return-leg IPL fixture and revive their campaign in Jaipur Saturday.

With six losses and two wins, hosts Rajasthan Royals are languishing at the second last position in the points’ table and desperate to bring their campaign back on track with a much-needed win.

 

Rajasthan will take heart from the four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their own den last Saturday and hope to get the better of their opponents again, this time at home.

However, it is easier said than done considering Rajasthan's dismal record at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. Apart from a lone victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan have lost three matches at home.

England's Jos Buttler has done the bulk of scoring for Rajasthan. His fiery 89 off 43 balls was the cornerstone of Royals' four-wicket victory over Mumbai but the rest of the batsmen have either struggled or not been consistent.

Sanju Samson, who hit the first ton of this IPL season, too hasn’t delivered in past couple of innings.

Skipper Anjikya Rahane has got starts but failed to convert them. His decision to go down the order in the last match also didn't bear any fruit as Rajasthan failed to chase down 182 against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali the other day.

Former Australia captain Steve Smith and England all-rounder Ben Stokes are also struggling for runs.

The pace-spin duo of Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal has spearheaded their bowling attack but rest of the bowlers have been far from penetrative and also proved costly in death overs.

In their last game, Rahane made some changes, bringing in Stuart Binny and Ashton Turner but while the former hit some lusty blows, the Australian was dismissed for naught.

Rahul Tripathi did excel with a 45-ball 50 after returning to his favourite position at top of the order but he threw his wicket away immediately after completing the fifty.

Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, have looked formidable this season with a good mix of power hitters, quality bowlers and perfect all-rounders.

The three-time former champions grabbed the second position after a dominating 40-run win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday night and will be eager to avenge their defeat against Rajasthan on Saturday to inch closer to the play-off berth.

If skipper Rohit Sharma, who completed 8000 runs in T20 on Thursday, and Quinton De Kock laid the foundation at the top, the Pandya brothers -- Hardik and Krunal, along with the big-hitting Kieron Pollard have provided the late charge to help Mumbai post huge scores.

Mumbai boosts of two of the best death bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, who has taken 10 wickets from nine games so far, and veteran Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga.

Young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar's three-wicket haul was one of the highlights of their win over Delhi and the ever dependable Krunal too have troubled the rival batsmen.

Both the teams have faced each other 22 times and Mumbai has emerged victorious 11 times, while Rajasthan won on 10 occasions, with one game being abandoned due to rain in 2009.

Teams (from):

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (capt.), Ben Stokes, Joffre Archer, Jos Butler, Ashton Turner, Ish Sodhi, Oshane Thomas, Liam Livingstone, Sanju Samson (WK), Shubham Ranjane, Steve Smith, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Sudhesan Midhun, Jaydev Unadkat, Prashant Chopra, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Riyan Parag, Dhawal Kulkarni, Krishnappa Gowtham, Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Manan Vohra, Rahul Tripathi.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt.), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Ben Cutting, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuvraj Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Siddhedh Lad, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Anukul Roy, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Ishan Kishan, Jason Behrendorff.

Match starts: 4 pm.

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