Chase and win, bat first and win – the how will not matter, only the result will as the Royal Challengers Bangalore host the Mumbai Indians in an IPL 2016 game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. With both teams desperate for wins to keep their playoff hopes alive, only two points will do on Wednesday.
RCB are sixth in the IPL 2016 points table, with eight points, courtesy four wins from nine matches, while Mumbai Indians are a spot above them with ten points, but having played a game more. Both teams are still very much in with a chance of finishing in the top four, but there is little room for error for either.
Too many times this season, players from both teams have failed to show up, which in turn has led to their indifferent campaign so far. There is still enough time to change that inconsistency, but it needs to be now, rather than "maybe from the next game, we will improve."
RCB will say their turnaround started from the last match, when they pulled off a win over the Kings XI Punjab off the last ball. Close wins always give you the confidence and belief that fortunes can change, and it will be up to the home team to show they have it in them to go on a winning run.
MI are the past masters of the late run, having done it in the last couple of seasons. Rohit Sharma and co. will hope to make it a hat-trick of winnings runs, starting with a victory over RCB in Bengaluru.
While RCB will take confidence from their last match, all MI will want to do is forget theirs, after being handed a drubbing by the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Instead, the Mumbai Indians will want to look at the last time the two teams met, at the Wankhede, when the defending champions pulled off an easy victory.
"We just don't think about what happened in the last match," MI all-rounder Hardik Pandya was quoted as saying by IPL's official website. "This is a very crucial game for us as well as RCB and we are looking forward to it. We are preparing for it. RCB are a strong team. But the pressure is on both us and them. This is a must-win match for both teams."
At the Chinnaswamy, a score of 180-190 is par, making it quite difficult for the bowlers. With batsmen like Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Shane Watson, Chris Gayle (possibly), Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler taking the field on Wednesday, expect runs, runs and more runs to be scored.
"Knowing that is a high-scoring ground, as a bowler you just have to be ready to go for runs," Pandya added. "If a bowler goes for 40 runs in four overs, it might turn out to be an economical spell here.
"You just have to go with confidence and be positive about your chances. You cannot go thinking about how AB, Virat or Gayle bat. You have to back yourself. Someone like an AB wants you to do something different. So, the best way to go is by keeping things simple.
"Everyone knows that RCB have a strong batting unit, and as bowlers we have to be at the top of our game against them."
Where to Watch Live
RCB vs MI is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET) start. Below are the TV and Live Streaming options.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Play.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: Supersport. Live Streaming: Supersport Live Video.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
International (ROW): Cricketgateway.