MI vs RCB Preview: Challenging Royals Problem for Indians

The first match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challenge Bangalore promises to be the clash of titans, going by their first match record. Both have won first matches, and both are looking very strong. Can RCB be another DD!! Or will RCB batsmen make merry!!

RCB Analysis
Mumbai Indians Analysis

Head-to-Head Record: MI 4, RCB 3
Both the teams have played 7 matches against each other including the semifinal of last edition. Mumbai Indians won the semifinal match on their way to the finals. Otherwise for three editions, they have shared one win and one loss.

Winning First, Losing Next
Interestingly in every edition RCB has won the first group match and lost the next one, keeping their clashes even for both. The same pattern was started in 2008 edition, when RCB was tagged as the Test team of IPL, and MI was considered strong.

Past Results
2008

    RCB def MI by 5 Wickets
    MI def RCB by 9 Wickets

2009

    RCB def MI by 9 Wickes
    MI def RCB by 16 Runs

2010

    RCB def MI by 7 Wickets
    MI def RCB by 57 Runs
    MI def RCB by 35 Runs

2011 Performances
The man-in-form AB de Villiers helped RCB escape an upset against the freshers, Kochi TUskers Kerala. Malinga yorrkers helped Mumbai Indians thrash Delhi Daredevils in away match.

Performances of Past

    In 2008, Mumbai Indians won 7 and lost 7. Royal Challengers Bangalore registered their worst IPL performance finishing 7th in the group with 4 wins and 10 losses.
    In 2009, RCB went on to reach the finals, where Deccan Chargers defeated them. RCB registered 9 wins and 7 losses in the tournament. MI has their worst performance as they registered only 5 wins compared to 8 losses. 1 match was abandoned.
    In 2010, Mumbai Indians led by Sachin from front rocked IPL and entered the final. MI won 11 matches and lost just 5. RCB also reached semifinal and finished 3rd, after MI knocked them out in semifinals. RCB won 8 matches and lost 8.

Overall Performances
With 23 wins and 20 losses MI has been a better team in last three editions. RCB has more losses than wins, winning 21 and Losing 25. Both have lost the final once, although RCB has reached semifinal one more time than MI.

Who Will Win!!
Malinga, Harbhajan and Sachin did not let DD smile even for a moment in their first match. With Pollard, Rohit Sharma and Symonds raring to go, they are the strongest team. On the other hand, RCB did not have an easy victory. In fact, till most of their chase, it appeared they are lagging. AB de Villiers clean hits awarded victory to them. Their strong batting line-up comprising of old DD mates – Dilshan and AB de Villiers, the retained lad Virat Kohli and the 2010 fame young guy Saurabh Tiwary looks strong enough to thwart the Malinga threat.

Zaheer Khan and Nannes may be able neutralize Tendulkar, Pollard and Symonds, RCB can easily win the first-match again for the 4th consecutive IPL against MI.

Interesting Clashes
Malinga vs AB de Villiers
Sachin will unleash Malinga on AB de Villiers for sure. Both are in the form of their life. It will be an interesting battle. AB should have the upper hand.

Sachin vs Zaheer/Nannes
The best batsman will be tested by one of the best fast bowling duo of IPL. One of them would be able to send Sachin back to pavillion. In fact, Zaheer should be the main threat of Mumbai Indians, considering he has played with them for the last three editions.

Harbhajan vs Vettori
Both are established spinners and one of the best of the current lot. Both have started in-form in their first match. Their spell will be decisive for their respective teams. Vettori may not deviate from his usual tidy bowling, Harbhajan will end up leaking runs, as the RCB batsmen appear good to tackle spin.

Squads
Mumbai Indians (MI)
Batsman: Sachin Tendulkar (Captain), Ambati Rayudu, Rajagopal Sathish, Rohit Sharma, Tirumalasetti Suman, Aditya Tare (WK), Davy Jacobs (WK)
Allrounder: James Franklin, Moises Henriques, Kieron Pollard, Andrew Symonds
Bowlers: Aiden Blizzard, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Abu Nechim, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sarul Kanwar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ali Murtaza, Pawan Suyal, Santosh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Batsman: AB de Villiers (WK), Luke Pomersbach, Rilee Rossouw, Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Muralidharen Gautam, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara,
Allrounder: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jonathan Vandiar
Bowlers: Dirk Nannes, Charl Langeveldt, Johan van der Wath, Zaheer Khan, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, Nuwan Pradeep, Abrar Kazi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ryan Ninan

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