After hosting Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals head to the Wankhede Stadium to play Mumbai Indians for an away game. The match against Chennai Super Kings was so close yet so far for us, as it went right down to the wire and concluded with a last ball six that took Dhoni’s men over the line. We bring in a lot of positives from that game into this one. The intensity of fielding and our bowlers kept us on top of things for most parts of the game. Mumbai Indians have been on a roll of late, and are strong at home conditions. This encounter will be Rajasthan Royals’ first and only 4 PM game of the season. We will be playing in attendance of over 20,000 underprivileged children at the Wankhede Stadium, as part of MI’s social initiative. This comes right after we played our last home game in front of empowered girls and women at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. It will be yet another day where we entertain thousands of children with a game of exciting cricket. Powerplay of Numbers The head to head battle is extremely close as we have won 8 out of the 18 matches played overall in the Vivo IPL. We won both our home and away clashes when we faced MI last year with our players Jofra Archer and Jos Butler being the key performers. Going into this game, we would be looking forward to improve our win percentage at the Wankhede stadium that currently stands at 42.9%. Our batting unit will be pretty confident ahead of this game, considering the Wankhede track has been producing high scoring games of late. At the same time, the spinners could come handy and look forward to taking those timely wickets to keep us ahead in the game. Dynamic Duels Jos Buttler vs Hardik Pandya Jos Buttler’s potential to play aggressive cricket right from the start along with his range of shots is something everyone will be eager to watch. In 4 innings playing against each other, Jos Butler has scored 58 off 27 deliveries against Hardik Pandya, who is yet to dismiss him in the Vivo IPL. Buttler had played with MI for two seasons, and knows the conditions at the Wankhede pretty well. Last year, he had scored a match-winning, unbeaten 94 which was filled with audacious shots down the ground. Steven Smith vs Jasprit Bumrah Apart from the battle of producing quality cricket, this is also going to be a battle of Bumrah’s unique action against Smith’s unorthodox stance! In the four innings that they have played against each other, Smith has scored 38 runs while Bumrah has managed to pick him once. Dhawal Kulkarni vs Rohit Sharma Both the local boys know each other’s game pretty well and Dhawal Kulkarni will be looking to get rid of the Mumbai Indians skipper early on, in the innings. Sharma wasn’t part of MI’s previous game, but could be fit for this one. Dhawal Kulkarni has been magnificent in the past bowling to him in the IPL, dismissing him 4 times and giving away only 49 runs in 7 innings. Our strike bowler is in red-hot form after his brilliant spell against CSK and bowling on a pitch that he knows a lot about will keep his confidence high. Rajasthan Royals have played two away games in this season, so far, and have lost both. There were many commendable performances in both those games, in Hyderabad and Chennai. This time around, the Royals will be thinking of earning those two points and emerge victorious against Mumbai Indians at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, which has been home to some of our key players and coaches at some point of their careers. Halla Bol!
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