Mumbai, Bangalore look to revive campaign; Chennai eye top spot - GulfToday

Mumbai, Bangalore look to revive campaign; Chennai eye top spot


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

Mumbai Indians (MI) will look to regain the winning momentum when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the second match of the IPL double-header in Dubai on Sunday.

Mumbai will look get their faltering campaign back on track with a victory over Bangalore after losing two consecutive matches.

Mumbai were defeated in their opening match of the UAE leg against table-topper Chennai before being routed by a resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

The two losses in two matches have dismantled them from the top four for the first time in the tournament. They have slipped down to sixth spot in the standings that has put their play-off chances in a jeopardy.

After the loss against Chennai, Mumbai were hoping for a turn around with the return of captain Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya.

As the management had accepted that the team had missed the services of the duo in the Chennai match. But even the Rohit’s return in Kolkata match did not bring any changes both in the fortune and the performance of the team.

In the both the matches, Mumbai got off to a flying start but could not get the momentum going. In the first match, Mumbai pacers rattled Delhi but went on to lose the match while in the second match against Kolkata after getting off to a flying start, they failed to capitalize on the it and could manage to muster to only 156.

Pandya, who is big-hitter of the ball, is yet to return to the fold. He can be dangerous customer in the death overs and spur the run rate.

Rohit is being linked to India’s T20 captaincy since Virat Kohli announced of stepping down after the World Cup. The pressure of the responsibility of the top job already seems to be taking toll on him.

Virat Kohli-led Bangalore also lost both their matches of the UAE leg, but they are still in the top three with 10 points from nine matches, having won five of them.

Kohli also announced relinquishing the Bangalore captaincy as well after the IPL. He did score his second fifty of this edition against Chennai but failed to take his team to a victory.

Despite an opening century partnership, Bangalore could not post enough total o the board. They threw away their wickets to reckless shots to set Chennai a chaseable total.

Kohli’s mojo seems to be dwindling as the fervour an excitement that he was once greeted with appears to have long since dissipated.

Since taking over as captain, Kohli led Bangalore in 132 matches, losing 65 and winning 60 while three ended in ties and four without result.

He has not delivered a single trophy to the team in eight years and led them to only one final while Mumbai captain Rohit steered his team to five titles in the same period.

In the other match of the day, Chennai Supe Kings (CSK) will face a confident Kolkata. Chennai will look to regain the top spot and boost their chances for a play-off berth.

Chennai defeated Bangalore by six wickets to extend their unbeaten streak in the second phase of the IPL they are at the second spot with 12 points, having won six of their nine games.

They have good depth in their batting and Dwayne Bravo is in red-hot form that makes the more lethal. Bravo was adjudged man of the match for his three-wicket haul against Bangalore.

The West Indian all-rounder has taken three wickets each in the two consecutive matches. He also played a quick-fire cameo of 8-ball 23 against Mumbai to help Chennai post a fighting total in their first match.

Chennai are not likely to make any changes and disturb the winning combination despite a few players still not clicking.

Kolkata have witnessed a turn-around in their performance and  become a top-contenders from a perennial make-weights with two successive victories which catapulted them in top four eight points.

They will look to extend their winning streak and inch closer to the play-offs. They have notched up two consecutive wins against two big teams – Bangalore and Mumbai.

Kolkata will once again rely on the opening pair of Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill to give them a good platform for a big total.

Morgan along with Rahul Tripathi and Andre Russell will consolidate the middle order while mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy with Sunil Narine will take care of spin department. Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna can be dangerous on green Dubai turf.

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