Mahela Jayawardene vs Kumar Sangakkara & Lasith Malinga. Rohit Sharma vs Sanju Samson. Kieron Pollard vs Shimron Hetmyer. Jasprit Bumrah vs Trent Boult. M Ashwin vs R Ashwin. Saturday’s fixture between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals promises to be a mouth-watering one.
Royals have also been Mumbai’s bogey team in the recent past: since IPL 2018, they have won five of the eight games between the two sides. Their bowling attack ticks nearly all boxes, and their batting line-up boasts of dynamic T20 players who thrive on easy-paced hit-through-the-line tracks that Mumbai often serves up. However, there are questions around the No.7 spot. Is Nathan Coulter-Nile fit? If Coulter-Nile isn’t fit, then can Jimmy Neesham or Daryl Mitchell do the job for Royals?
Bowling allrounder Coulter-Nile tumbled in his followthrough and left the field after bowling just one ball – a no-ball – in the last over of Royals’ defence against Sunrisers. It remains to be see whether he has recovered in time for Saturday’s fixture.
Mumbai Indians 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 N Tilak Varma, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Tim David, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Daniel Sams/Fabian Allen, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Tymal Mills, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Basil Thampi
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Devdutt Padikkal, 4 Sanju Samson (capt&wk), 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 Nathan Coulter-Nile/Jimmy Neesham, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Prasidh Krishna, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
There is a case for Royals to have Yuzvendra Chahal bowling in tandem with R Ashwin to Pollard. Both spinners have dismissed Pollard five times each in all T20 cricket.