When Mumbai Indians meet Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur it will not be a one-sided win for Mumbai Indians considering the venue Jaipur and good performance by Royals so far in the tournament. Royals appears favorite due to their bowling unit and Watson factor may matter the most.
They have played 10 matches and with one match abandoned in 2009, MI leads 5-4.
MI has defeated Royals even in 2008, when they won record number of matches on their way to championship victory. MI defeated Royals in last edition too, in both the group matches, when Indians entered the final, and lost, for the first time in their history. But Royals trounced MI at Jaipur and also in Mumbai in 2011. 2012 saw MI winning both the matches.
Head-to-Head: MI 5, RR 4
- MI def RR by 7 Wickets
RR def MI by 5 Wickets
- MI vs RR NR
RR def MI by 2 Runs
- MI def RR by 4 Runs
MI def RR by 37 Runs
- MI won by 27 runs, MOM: Pollard
MI won by 10 wkts, MOM: Dwayn Smith
On their way to championship RR won record 13 matches and lost just 3.
In 2008, MI won 7 and lost 7 too.
South Africa did not suit them and they managed just 5 wins, Lost 8, and 1 was abandoned.
In 2009, MI won 5 and lost 8, with one match abandoned.
RR again failed to enter knockout and could win only 6 and Lost 8 matches.
In 2010 they were extremely successful winning 11 and losing only 4.
MI finished third, despite two record thrashing by RR, winning 10 and losing 6.
RR finished 6th winning 6, losing 7 and drawing one.
With 11 wins and 7 losses MI finished 4th, while RR finished 7th with 7 wins and 9 losses, two of which came against Mumbai Indians.
RR has a positive win loss ratio, making them one of the successful teams of IPL in last three editions. They have Won 41, Lost 35, and two matches were abandoned.
Mumbai Indians have the best team record, after CSK with 46 Wins, 34 Losses, 1 NR.
2010, 2011 and 2012 knock out entries have made them one of the top 5 teams of the tournament with a positive win-loss ration in last three editions. Sachin Tendulkar, their captain, was adjudged Man of the Series, despite losing the final in 2010.
Who Will Win Today!
Mumbai Indians have overall firepower. Their middle order batting with the likes of Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Pollard and Rayudu is the strongest of the IPL and most successful too in the current season. But their opening partnership is their biggest problem. Sachin has shown some promise in the last match, but Ponting is still misfit. They have the firepower to score 200 runs and certainly on batting they do have an edge over RR.
But if Shane Watson converts his smaller successes of the past inning to a bigger one, then entire MI team cannot do anything. Having just returned to injury that kind of innings may be too much to ask from him, but even if he goes to a quick 75 runs, then Rahane, Dravid, Hodge, Faulkner can take it forward to reach 180+.
Malinga in the company of the bowling unit that has 4 of the IPLs top 10 performers would be the biggest threat. Johnson has been also comparatively successful and the pacer-friendly Jaipur pitch may just look good enough for Johnson and Malinga. But Malinga has a very poor record against Royals. And Royals have the talented batting power to face the pacers.
In bowling, it will not be unfair to give Royals the advantage over Mumbai Indians. Overall Royals appear to have an edge.