The Mumbai Indians will look to keep their slightest of sliver of hopes of making the playoffs alive, while the Rajasthan Royals will want to ensure they will be playing the final few games of the tournament as they host the beleaguered defending champions in IPL 2014 in Ahmedabad on Monday afternoon.
Where to Watch Live:
The game is scheduled for a 4 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage on Sony Six (English) and Sony Max (Hindi) in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online HERE or HERE. Watch the match in the rest of the world HERE, HERE or through the GoCricket apps. Viewers in the US can catch the game on Willow TV or with the live streaming option HERE, while Canada viewers can do the same HERE.
Viewers in the Middle East can watch the action on OSN with the live streaming option available HERE, while New Zealand viewers can do the same via Sky NZ or HERE or via the above rest of the world options. Viewers in the UK can catch the match on ITV, while Pakistan viewers can do the same on Geo Super, with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh audience able to watch the game on TV on Masaranga TV and Carlton Sports Network respectively.
MI have been pretty poor this season, with their batting looking quite brittle. Their inability to put up big scores, or chase them, have been the primary reason behind their record this season, which reads 10 games played, three wins and seven losses.
The six-point haul has pretty much ended their hopes of finishing in the top-four, with only a massive help from other teams opening up the possibility of making a better fist of defending the IPL title they won so handsomely last year.
"Every match from here is important, it's an easy equation and we have to win everything," MI all-rounder Corey Anderson said. "A few things have to go our way as well. But if the rest of the games go our way, then hopefully, few things will fall in place, and I guess, the playoffs are still an option."
Anderson has been one among plenty of other MI batsmen who have failed to make an impact this season, and the Kiwi admitted batting has been a problem. "The way Twenty20 games go, sometimes some guys come off and some don't," Anderson added. "On the bowling front, we have been pretty good, and with the batting, we could have done a little better in different situations.
"But sometimes, it takes one guy to have a good game and win. It is ifs and buts. But at the moment, we are going to focus on the next four games, and hopefully, get wins."
The Mumbai Indians' hopes of winning their final four matches have been dealt a major blow with Lasith Malinga done for the season due to his international commitments with Sri Lanka. "For any side it is a huge space to fill," Anderson said. "Whoever takes the role, I am sure they will do a good job. We know our plans. We are starting to get into the latter stage of the tournament now. Whoever comes in, I hope they do a good job."
The Rajasthan Royals have been pretty good in IPL 2014, playing some outstanding cricket, while also giving opportunities to the youngsters to make their mark – something that has been conspicuous by its absence in the MI lineup this year.
Sitting pretty in third on 14 points, two more than KKR, who have played a game more, the Royals can as good as seal a playoff place with a win at their home ground for IPL 2014 on Monday. RR fast bowler Kane Richardson insisted the team would not be experimenting with their lineup, despite their strong position.
"We are after a win," the Australian said. "The way the points table is looking, the Kolkata Knight Riders are a threat as well. So for us, it is about getting that win to get us through to the playoffs. And it will be nice to do it this game.
"If you do that kind of stuff [experiment], you set yourself up for bad luck. You have to make sure you win. If your team has qualified for the finals, you can think about stuff like that. Everyone who plays, there is a reason why they are playing. Whichever 11 are there tomorrow, there is a reason why they have been picked.
"Obviously, the Mumbai Indians haven't had the tournament that they would liked, but they are still a dangerous team. Hopefully, we can take care of business and keep off the pressure from the last two games. You have to give respect to the Mumbai Indians; they are a dangerous team and they will want to finish the tournament well. So if we get two points, we will be fine."