The stakes couldn’t have been higher – both Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals are on 10 points with 3 games to go. Both have a chance of making it to the play-offs, but so does every team in the top-7.
Only Delhi Daredevils are ruled out of the playoffs. All of the other teams, down to RCB at no. 7, could make it. Sunrisers Hyderabad are assured of a place in the top-2 and we don’t see that being taken away from them.
Apart from that, it’s a make or break week for all of the remaining teams. Mumbai Indians are past masters at this. They always start with one loss after another, and then pick up spectacularly in the latter half the competition, often going on a winning spree.
There is a reason they are the most successful team in IPL history – when other teams collapse under pressure, Mumbai Indians are at their very best. This is something characteristic of the people of Mumbai – they are at their best when the going gets tough.
Rajasthan Royals have done well in the last couple of games, surprising everyone by winning them handsomely. They even beat Chennai Super Kings, chasing down a huge score. That was amazing. Perhaps they have finally got their best line-up together.
The biggest difference was playing Jos Butler as an opening batsman. He has been brilliant in that position, winning big games for his team. Everyone has been contributing, especially young Jofra Archer, who presents a potent threat.
Even the much maligned Stuart Binny is contributing to the cause, playing as a specialist lower order batsman. His limitations as a bowler are obvious to one and all. He can however, strike a few lusty blows coming late in the death overs.
Prediction: Who can win this match? Well, we have been wrong often in this IPL 2018 with our predictions, but we can’t see Mumbai Indians losing this game.
Mumbai Indians: 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Suryakumar Yadav, 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Ishan Kishan (wk), 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Ben Cutting, 8 Mitchell McClenaghan, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Mayank Markande, 11 Mustafizur Rahman/Adam Milne
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Ben Stokes, 4 Sanju Samson, 5 Prashant Chopra, 6 Stuart Binny, 7 K Gowtham, 8 Jofra Archer, 9 Ankit Sharma/Shreyas Gopal, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Ish Sodhi
Watch Mumbai Indians play Rajasthan Royals tonight at 8 PM Live on Star Sports!