Defending Champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will cross swords with the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in what call be called as a virtual knockout game at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Both, MI and RR are reeling at the bottom four of the IPL points table, with 10 points apiece from 12 games and are desperately need a win in this encounter to keep their chances of qualifying in the play-offs afloat.
The Free Press Journal conducted a poll on Twitter ahead of the match which will commence today at 7:30 PM. The poll was conducted to find out which of the two teams will win the battle on the field today.
Poll results indicate that there are more possibilities of RR winning the game against MI as 65.2% of cricket fans have voted in favor of the Sanju Samson-led side, while only 34.8% are favouring Rohit Sharma's troops.
The five time champion side, MI have failed to impress in the UAE leg of tournament with just five wins in twelve outings and are currently placed 7th in the points table.
Mumbai's batting has been quite unpromising this season and despite decent starts from captain Rohit Sharma and Quinton De Kock at the top, the team's middle order has failed to fire. Suryakumar Yadav has just scored 222 runs at an average of 18.50 with a best of 56 this season. Speaking of the bowling department, MI stalwart Jasprit Bumrah has been doing a fine job, clinching 17 wickets at an average of 21.00. While, Trent Boult has scalped just 4 wickets in 5 game in the UAE leg and has also proved to be very expensive.
Meanwhile for the Royals, openers Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been providing solid starts for the Jaipur based team. While Lewis has been striking the ball at the rate 171.62, Jaiswal too has enjoyed a strike rate of more that 150, amassing 237 runs this season.
Skipper Sanju Samson has been in a swashbuckling form as well, plundering 480 runs in this edition at an average of 48.00. Not to forget, the inclusion of Shivam Dube has done wonders for RR middle-order as the southpaw smashed an unbeaten 64 off 42 balls in a crucial encounter against Chennai Super Kings, guiding the Royals to a comprehensive win, chasing a daunting target of 190 runs in their previous match. Royals bowling on the other hand hasn't been up to the mark.
Coming to the pitch analysis, the flat surface and short boundary is likely to assist the batters, leaving a tough job for the bowlers in hand. The fast bowlers should get the ball to swing around early and keep the batters alert. Strokeplaying is expected to get easy under the lights.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)