Abu Dhabi, October 27: Rohit Sharma is likely to miss third game in a row when Mumbai Indians (MI) face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (October 28), with both the teams aiming to secure their spot in the IPL 2020 play-offs.
While Mumbai are sitting on top of the table despite their eight-wicket hammering by Rajasthan Royals with 14 points, Virat Kohli-led RCB too remain on 14 points following their loss to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday (October 25).
A win for either side on Wednesday (October 28) should be enough to take it to the play-offs.
Rohit's fitness has become a subject of unwanted attention ahead of the game. Having missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury, MI skipper returned to the nets on Monday (October 26), a day when he was not named in the India squad for the Australia series.
There is still no conclusive update on his fitness from either Mumbai Indians or the BCCI.
In Rohit's absence, Mumbai would persist with both Saurabh Tiwary and Ishan Kishan, who has played some scintillating knocks.
Quinton De Kock (374 runs) had a rare failure against Rajasthan and he would be keen to make an impact. Kishan (298 runs) and Suryakumar Yadav (283 runs) are among the leading run-scores who can go on the offensive against any attack.
The six-hitting prowess of Hardik Pandya (224 runs) was on display in the RR game, when he plundered seven maximums. Along with stand-in captain Kieron Pollard (214 runs) and Krunal Pandya (85 runs), Hardik can take any attack to cleaners and their hard-hitting ability could prove to be the difference between the two sides.
Mumbai bowlers would be more than keen to forget the hammering they received from Rajasthan's Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson.
Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah have been lethal both at front and at the death, accounting for 33 wickets amongst themselves. For the third pacer's spot, MI could choose between James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter Nile.
For RCB, Kohli (415 runs) would like to continue his splendid run in the tournament. Australian Aaron Finch (236 runs), young Devdutt Padikkal (343 runs) and AB de Villiers (324 runs) need to be more consistent and support their skipper.
De Villiers has shown time and again why he is regarded as one of the best T20 batsmen, by turning the clock back on a few occasions. If the RCB top-order fires in unison, then they can pummel the MI attack into submission.
RCB v CSK: Standout Performer: @imVkohli— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) October 27, 2020
Anchored the innings first with Dev and then with AB, while bringing up his 3️⃣9️⃣th half-century, standout performer of the match against CSK was Captain Kohli. #PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/8ugODLMllB
The likes of Chris Morris, Moeen Ali and Gurkeerat Mann, who form the lower middle order, can also chip in with useful cameos.
But for the southern team, there is injury scare on the bowling front with pacer Navdeep Saini suffering a split webbing. There is no clarity on his participation for the game against Mumbai.
In case he misses out, Chris Morris and Mohammad Siraj would need to shoulder greater responsibility along with Isuru Udana.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton De Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Josh Philippe, Pawan Negi, Pavan Deshpande, Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav
Match starts at 7.30 PM IST on Wednesday (October 28).
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