Saturday, July 2, 2022

IPL 2022: Struggling MI faces confident RCB, awaits first win

It’s a new-look squad, but the same old story at the start of an Indian Premier League season.

Mumbai Indians is yet again off to a slow start. The team has not yet appeared to be a potent force, and it will be interesting to see if Rohit Sharma’s boys can open their account against a recharged Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday night.

Three nights after being hit hard by Pat Cummins’ hurricane, Mumbai Indians will return to the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s International Stadium. The MI bowling unit, with Jasprit Bumrah as its lone flag-bearer, will be hoping not to let Dinesh Karthik repeat his heroics that consigned Rajasthan Royals to its first defeat earlier this week.

Maxwell boost for RCB

Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed aren’t the only concerns for MI bowlers. Glenn Maxwell, who is set to make his maiden appearance this season, will be granted to tee off in style. Virat Kohli, too, will be eager to stamp his authority against a side led by Rohit Sharma, his successor as India’s captain across formats.

While the Royal Challengers do not have too many gaps to fill, Mumbai Indians looks far from a settled unit. No wonder then that in his pep talk to the team after Wednesday’s loss, Rohit used the term “desperation” multiple times.

With a team that is still searching for its best combination, especially in the batting department, the onus will be on Rohit, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav to play a blinder and see the team through. All these seasoned professionals realize that despite having qualified for the Playoffs after suffering five losses in a row at the start in 2014, with a rejigged combination and a new format, time indeed is running out for the five-time champion.

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