Mumbai test for Kohli's Bangalore

Mumbai test for Kohli's Bangalore

Pressure on both teams as league approches business end

Mumbai test for Kohli's Bangalore

The nervy one-run win over Kings XI Punjab on Monday was Royal Challengers Bangalore's second straight victory, a small yet significant feat they have achieved for the first time this season. Their campaign has been marked with inconsistency but the result against Punjab has helped RCB build some momentum.

With five matches remaining for the Challengers, the race to qualify for the knockouts has become intense and Virat Kohli's men will be eyeing a hat-trick of wins when they face the Mumbai Indians here at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

Murali Vijay's fine batting performance almost took Punjab home but RCB hung on to clinch a thriller. It was not the first time that the Challengers had held their nerve in a close encounter. In their away match against Rising Pune Supergiants, RCB emerged winners despite a late fightback from Pune and the hosts hold a strong chance to upstage Mumbai.

RCB's batsmen have continued their good run and to their advantage, AB de Villiers, who failed to make an impact in a couple of games before the Punjab tie, returned to his attacking best on Monday. Shane Watson once again showed what a vital player he can be with a stellar all-round show (against Supergiants) and with the ball (against Punjab) and Australian will continue to be RCB's trump card.

Chris Jordan, filling in the big shoes of Mitchell Starc, hasn't had a great start to the tournament. The England medium-pacer's economy has been on the expensive side but his ability to step up during the death overs might give him another game on Wednesday. While there has been no noteable individual performances from the struggling RCB bowling attack, Yuzvendra Chahal, with his ability to provide breakthroughs, could play a crucial role in the middle overs.

The Challengers have overlooked Chris Gayle in the previous two games and it remains to be seen if the Jamaican opener gets a look-in against Mumbai. Travis Head adds balance to the middle order and the Australian might remain in the team at the expense of Gayle.
The fluctuating Bengaluru weather is a worry for the Challengers and their campaign could take a huge blow if rain hits Monday’s match.

Lying fifth with 10 points from as many games, the Mumbai Indians are under no less pressure.

Rohit Sharma’s men come into the tie following an 85-run mauling from the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the defending champions cannot afford another dismal outing. Mumbai’s middle order hasn’t done justice to its potential and the likes of Hardik Pandya and Jos Buttler could set up an interesting battle against the RCB spinners.

Buttler and Kieron Pollard along with skipper Rohit, have it in them to destroy any bowling attack and the short boundaries here at the Chinnaswamy make their job a lot more easy.

The Mumbai bowlers would be aware of the terrific form of Kohli and KL Rahul and the visitors would want to see the back of the right-handed openers early in the game.