The defending champions have looked the most destructive side so far while the inaugural champions started off beautifully but have faded away lately.
Let’s have a look at some key battles for the match.
Sharma has scored 176 in 5 matches so far with a Strike Rate of 144.26. He has looked in good touch and leads team from the front. MI side looks one of the most settled side of the season and having Rohit as the opener gives them an edge over other teams. The skipper would want to continue his form. Tom Curran has been a great addition to the RR side with both ball as well as bat. He hasn’t taken much wickets in the 4 matches, but he has bowled decent line and lengths thereby keeping it tight for the opposition. RR would want him to take more responsibility and get them crucial breakthroughs.
The big man from Trinidad has hit 163 runs so far with an amazing strike rate of 208.97, the highest of the tournament till now. He has looked in supreme touch and unlike other seasons, he is coming early in the batting thereby looking to cause maximum damage. Archer has the economy of 6.75, best among the fast bowlers for the season. He has been very lethal in all the matches and has caused destruction with his sheer speed. Although he has taken only 4 wickets so far and RR would want him to get more in the coming matches. With Archer bowling during death, he will definitely encounter Pollard and this battle will be very exciting to watch.
Smith has lost his form once the team has stepped out of Sharjah or maybe he is yet to accept the fact that other grounds have bigger boundaries. He has gotten out while playing aggressive shots early in the inning which Smith doesn’t do usually. If RR need to get back on the winning tracks, then their skipper would have to play his natural game. Boult has been exceptionally good this time around. He has taken 8 wickets in 5 matches so far and has given good starts by providing a breakthrough in the powerplays. Boult with his accuracy, bowls into the batsmen thereby causing trouble. This MI bowling line up is a horror for opposition and Smith would want to take up the responsibility of tackling Boult in the start.
Samson started the season with an intent to everything out of the park. But he has fallen out cheaply in last two matches. He needs to get few things sorted out because RR is very much dependent on his performance. Maybe he needs to see few balls off and dispatch them once he is set like he did at Sharjah. Bumrah has looked bit off color but he is still better than what many would be on a colorful shiny day. Although he has taken 7 wickets but as given away many runs as per his reputation. It is not a concerning point unless he is taking wickets regularly, but he still needs to improve on his length. He will be well aware of Samson’s intent, and would like to knock him out early and seal the match for MI before it has even begun.