Both are coming off defeats in their previous matches, but for Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians the significance of Sunday’s match in Jaipur could not be more different. Rajasthan have been eliminated from IPL 5 and have only pride to play for, but for Mumbai this clash at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium offers a chance to enter the playoffs.
Rajasthan hit the road this season quiet well, winning their initial couple matches. However, a downward spiral was put in place by the lack of support for the top order – of which the openers scored the bulk of runs for RR – and the inability of the bowlers to regularly bowl sides out. The previous match, and one that Rajasthan needed to win to stay alive, was an example of the team’s muddled season: they could only manage 126 for 8 after electing to bat on a track which had turn and bounce and then failed to apply pressure on Deccan Chargers’ top order.
Mumbai, on the other hand, is one of the top teams in IPL 5 with 18 points from 15 games. Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu have scored the bulk of the team’s runs, with sporadic support from Dinesh Karthik, Kieron Pollard and Sachin Tendulkar but it has been the bowling which has really carried Mumbai. Lasith Malinga (21), Munaf Patel (15), Pollard (14) and RP Singh (10) have been crucial to Mumbai reaching the doortstep of the playoffs.
This match is a do-or-die situation for Mumbai, a team with renowned players and a huge fan following. They have managed to remain in the top four for some time now, but now have to play really well to prove their mettle and carry forward their journey in IPL 5.
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Rahul Dravid (capt), 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Stuart Binny, 5 Owais Shah, 6 Ashok Menaria, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Shreevats Goswami (wk), 9 Ajit Chandila, 10 Shaun Tait, 11 Siddharth Trivedi
Mumbai Indians: 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 Herschell Gibbs, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Dwayne Smith, 8 Harbhajan Singh (capt), 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Munaf Patel, 11 RP Singh