For Rajasthan Royals, everything falls into place, but then somehow they do not cross the finishing line. The strike-rate of their batsmen will be under the scanner and their death bowling and reaction to crunch moments will also be closely monitored. They will be up against Mumbai Indians, a side which has won the critical moments, a side which is riding a wave of momentum and hence, enter the match as overwhelming favourites.
The match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium, which has served Mumbai well this season, but such is the nature of the pitch, that even Rajasthan Royals might fancy their chances on the day.
Predicted XI of both sides:
Mumbai Indians Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Joseph, Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendoff
Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat
Fantasy tips and suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: Quinton de Kock has looked in patches but finds ways of getting out. Hence, he should not be in the playing XI. Instead, Sanju Samson, who took the gloves in the previous match should make it as his record against Mumbai Indians is terrific and will enjoy the brilliant batting surface in Mumbai.
Batsmen: Jos Buttler has tapered off this week, but he faces his former side at Wankhede and would want to make a big statement before he jets off to England for World Cup preparations. Also, Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma should make it into the playing XI along with Steve Smith.
There are concerns over the strike rate of Steve Smith, but then, on the Wankhede surface and outfield, the form of Smith should be instrumental for Rajasthan.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya has become a brilliant finisher for Mumbai Indians, but there are concerns with his bowling, which need to be resolved. For Rajasthan Royals, Ben Stokes was erratic in the final over in the match against Chennai Super Kings and conceded the match, but he should be in the side as he has the pedigree to strike big on any given day.
Spinners: There will be a toss-up between Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Chahar. While Chahar has been frugal, Gopal has been picking up wickets which should give him a go in the playing XI.
Seam bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendorff and Jofra Archer - the three seamers who could be quite good on the Wankhede surface should be included in the playing XI as all the three bowlers have the ability to run through sides both with the new and old ball.