Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians: An Indian batsman to top score in the game

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is coming into form just when Mumbai need him the most.
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Two sides in desperate need of a win go for broke here and the smart money is on one of Mumbai's talented top order batsmen getting a bigger score than Virat Kohli or his pals, says Jamie Pacheco...

"Anyone of Evin Lewis, S. Yadav, Ishan Kishan and of course Rohit Sharma himself are very capable of not just getting to 50 (all of them have at least once already) but kicking on beyond that. What’s also crucial here is that as mentioned, Mumbai’s bowlers take more wickets than Bangalore."

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians
Tuesday May 1 15.30
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Kohli's s RCB starting to run out of games

Will the IPL be Virat Kohli's White Whale? He's won a World Cup, a Champions Trophy and been top runscorer of many a big tournament, both domestically and internationally. As captain, he's taken India to Number 1 in the Test rankings.

But sometimes you get the feeling that Kohli and an IPL crown just aren't meant to be. Sunday was a case in point. He struck a brilliant 68 not out against Kolkata when his mate AB de Villiers wasn't about (he missed the game through illness) to get his side to a very challenging 175 and took a brilliant catch to dismiss opposition captain Dinesh Karthik. But even that wasn't enough.

With just four points from seven matches it all looks a bit impossible to make the play-offs but still the market rates them at 'just' [12.0] to still win it. Bizarre.

Assuming de Villiers is fit, he'll return here probably at the expense of Brendon McCullum. Colin de Grand'Homme hasn't done too much wrong from his limited chances but given that as ever RCB's problems are with ball and he hasn't been bowling, either Chris Woakes or Corey Anderson might come in just to give the Challengers another option.

Moeen Ali carries on waiting for his first game. If they want an extra spin option, he may just play here at last.

Duminy could be a good option for Mumbai

A lot of what's just been said about RCB applies to Mumbai. Also one of the pre-tournament favourites, also led by an Indian batting superstar in Rohit Sharma, also on just four points from seven games and equally vulnerable with the ball. Although in Mumbai's case, though their bowlers have been pretty expensive, at least they take wickets. Remarkably, four different bowlers have taken eight wickets and one has 10 (M. Markande).

Sharma has experimented with his overseas options, the latest move being dropping Mumbai legend Kieron Pollard for JP Duminy. As it happens, the South African all-rounder didn't get to bat or bowl because Mumbai had a rare good day and he wasn't needed. But his rotation of the strike, hard running and occasional unorthodox shot may be a good addition to their middle-order while he's an excellent fielder and another option with the ball if the wicket is taking some turn.

Hosts favourites but vulnerable as ever

Bangalore, as ever, are favourites at [1.86]. You'll struggle to find too many teams in any sport who are turned over as favourites as often as RCB. But Mumbai haven't exactly been too reliable this season, either. And a quote of [2.14] is a smidgeon of value but not enough to get us interested. Still, if you decide to go with Sharma and co you can take heart from the fact they won this fixture in Mumbai a couple of weeks ago by a huge margin of 46 runs.

Match Top Batsman could be a Mumbai Indian

Betfair Sportsbook has Royal Challengers Bangalore as the team most likely to produce the match's top batsman, at 4/9. It's 6/4 he comes from Mumbai's line-up and 40/1 it's a tie. Mumbai are very interesting at that price.

For starters, there's a possibility AB de Villiers may not play. After all, this match arrives just 48 hours after the one he missed on Sunday. That would be a huge fillip for us.

Quinton de Kock hasn't made a really big score in the IPL for a longtime now. Which of course leaves Kohli. Kohli can do anything and not only is he fresh from his unbeaten 68 but also score 92 not out against this lot when they played before. But no-one outside this trio has reached 50 for Bangalore and there's a feeling that if we can get Kohli out for 50 or less, we'll have every chance here with a Mumbai batsman topscoring in the match.

Anyone of Evin Lewis, S. Yadav, Ishan Kishan and of course Rohit Sharma himself are very capable of not just getting to 50 (all of them have at least once already) but kicking on beyond that.

What's also crucial here is that as mentioned, Mumbai's bowlers take more wickets than Bangalore.

The odds should be tighter in this market than they are and it's worth showing faith in one of Mumbai's top order batsmen outscoring Bangalore's.

S. Yadav a good price to score a 50

The former Kolkata batsman has two fifties from seven knocks so far so statistically, his quote of 7/2 on him getting one here is spot on.

But then again, this is one of the best batting wickets in the tournament and this is one of the weaker bowling attacks he's up against. So assuming he can see off the dangerous Tim Southee in the first four overs, he'll have every chance of getting to fifty at a decent price.


Jamie's IPL 2018 P/L

Staked: 15 pts
Returned: 13 pts
P&L: -2 pts

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