Rajasthan Royals (RR) are all set to take on the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Tuesday in their adopted home in Ahmedabad. The eighth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL ) 2015 have already showcased breath-taking games and this game is likely to be another interesting one if both the sides play to their full potential.
In-form RR will look to continue winning momentum at 'home' and on the other hand Mumbai Indians are still in search for their first victory in this edition of the IPL. Shane Watson of RR is likely to be fit for this game, but the question remains, who will he replace, as all the foreign players have delivered in their last two matches. MI will look to strike a balance to their squad and would look to outplay their opponents at Moteira. Here are some of the key battles that one will relish to see during the match:
Rohit Sharma vs Tim Southee: Rohit Sharma is undoubtedly the best batsman in the MI squad and he would be raring to get back to scoring ways. He was out-classed by Sandeep Sharma in his last match against Kings XI Punjab with some terrific swing bowling. Meanwhile, Southee comes in handy with the new ball as he can swing the ball both ways. Rohit will have to be careful during the initial spell and if he manages to overcome that then he can trouble the scorers.
Ajinkya Rahane vs Lasith Malinga: Rahane was instrumental in guiding the Royals to victory against the Delhi Daredevils as he anchored the innings right from the start. He would look to repeat the same against the MI. Malinga has not been up to the mark and had no impact whatsoever in the last two matches. He was taken for plenty against KKR and did not fare well against KXIP as well. He would want to pick up early wickets and provide his team a chance to go ahead in this encounter.
Deepak Hooda vs Harbhajan Singh: Hooda has already established himself with the reputation of a big hitter as he delivered two outstanding knocks in his past two matches. Harbhajan on the other hand, after his poor performance against KKR, was terrific against KXIP. He mixed it up nicely with flight and variation in pace. He would look to maintain the same pressure on the RR batsmen.
James Faulkner vs Corey Anderson: Anderson has this reputation of hitting the cricket ball long and hard. He was fantastic against KKR alongside Rohit, but he needs to be consistent. Faulkner would look to improve on his performance with the ball after his last match where he gave away 55 runs in his four overs against Delhi Daredevils. But his slower ones from the back of the hand will be very difficult to pick towards the back-end of the innings.
History suggests that MI have the upper hand against the Royals as they have won the last four encounters back in 2013 and 2014. But this is a new tournament and it will be a new game.