Mumbai Indians seem to have shaken off their lethargy and are really looking good as Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 begins to gather momentum in Week 3. Mumbai absolutely decimated the opposition attacks, scoring 191/4 against Kings XI Punjab and 208/5 against SunRisers Hyderabad, winning the matches by 34 and 48 runs respectively. Their batting mainstays all came good, with runs coming from all the big names in top of the order, with Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers really shifting gears at the death. That has made the job so much easier for the bowlers. Rajasthan Royals are however struggling, with two losses from the last two games. First, they lost by 37 runs to Kolkata Knight Riders, then Royal Challengers Bangalore simply walked by them with an eight-wicket win.
Needless to say, the momentum is firmly with Mumbai Indians. But the advantage of a long league is that any side can make a comeback, even till the end. As 2019 had witnessed, the last knockout teams were decided almost with the last lot of matches.
But RR will need to get their act together quick time, especially on the batting front. Suddenly, the big-hitting Sanju Samson has come to a grinding halt, while skipper Steve Smith seems to be in some different zone.
The rest are up and down. Rahul Tewatia has been mistaken for the middle-order star on the basis of one knock and the rest have unfortunately been totally dependent on the top-order to deliver the runs.
Needless to say, if the batting struggles, the bowling follows. Jofra Archer is the only steady hand, while the rest are largely forgettable.
Mumbai Indians suddenly seem to have no problems at all. The top order of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock have not got runs always, but the support from Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have contributed with solid scores while Pollard, with Hardik and Krunal Pandya, has absolutely destroyed the bowling in the last overs, giving the bowling enough to go with.
The bowling has suddenly seen Trent Boult and James Pattinson do well enough to push Jasprit Bumrah down the order. With the seam attack coming good early on, the spinners have had a relatively cushy two matches.
Rajasthan Royals should be looking at the batting and also if all the players being deployed really need to be there. Mahipal Lomror was a welcome addition while Robin Uthappa has been struggling.
Skipper Smith too needs to get his act together double-quick, since a struggling captain is likely the most difficult thing for a team to handle.
If Rajasthan Royals’ batting comes into its elements, Mumbai Indians could well be faced with a challenge, though their bowling is better than their rivals’. But any 20-over match can be decided in one over, so no team can be written off. This is what could be the Mumbai side’s most important enemy.
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