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Mumbai take on Rajasthan hunting for a hat-trick of wins

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In-form Mumbai will take on reeling Rajasthan at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in UAE as the former seeks a hattrick of wins while the latter will look to avoid a hat-trick of losses.

Here are all the key facts that you need to know ahead of this contest:

Bumrah vs Samson: Who will come out on top?

Sanju Samson started the season in terrific fashion, scoring 159 in his first two matches but has scored just 12 in the subsequent two.

Jasprit Bumrah, arguably the best white-ball bowler on the planet, has had a season that is very unlike him, giving away almost nine runs an over this season, a far cry from his last two campaigns where his economy rate was under seven.

Despite their wobbly form, the duel between the two could be a key factor in the contest. Samson has scored four half-centuries against Mumbai, the most he’s managed against any team, but Bumrah has had his number over the years in the Indian T20 League and has the upper hand in their head-to-head battle.

In seven innings against Bumrah, Samson has scored just 32 runs in 33 balls against the speedster and has been dismissed twice. Mumbai will hope to keep a lid on the player that has historically done well against them and their ace bowler will be key in achieving that.

Surya’s struggles against pace

Batsman Suryakumar Yadav is a mainstay in the Mumbai line-up and started the season in good nick but has since hit a bit of a slump.

Surya’s struggle against pace bowling has particularly been an issue. Here are how his number compare against pace and spin bowling.

BOWLING TYPE

INNINGS

RUNS

DISMISSALS

DOT BALLS

AVERAGE

STRIKE RATE

DOT BALL%

Pace 

74

993

43

271

23.09

142.46

38.88

Spin

55

652

17

174

38.35

119.19

31.8

A significant drop in average suggests there is some precedence to his struggles against fast bowling and could be something Rajasthan will look to exploit with Jofra Archer.

Players to watch out

Mumbai Indians – Kieron Pollard

The all-rounder has carried his tremendous Caribbean Premier League form into the Indian T20 League and has played three tremendous knocks on the trot for Mumbai. Pollard's last three scores read 60 off 24 balls, 47 off 20 and 25 off 13. The veteran now faces Rajasthan, a team that he has historically struggled against, averaging just 24.50, his lowest against any team in the league. Pollard’s batting at the death is key to Mumbai’s success and the team will be banking on their vice-captain to deliver the goods against an ailing Rajasthan side.

Rajasthan Royals – Jofra Archer

With the ball or the bat, Jofra Archer is a difference-maker for Rajasthan. The Englishman has smashed eight sixes in 25 balls and has a strike rate of 248 this season. He’s yet to be dismissed and has an average of 62. He’s picked up four wickets in four matches and is bowling at an economy rate of 6.75. Archer is Rajasthan’s x-factor and the team will need a big performance if they are to upstage the favourites to win it all.

Stats to look out for

3: Rajasthan skipper Steve Smith is just three sixes away from completing 100 sixes in T20s.

50: Rajasthan’s talisman Jos Buttler is just 50 runs away from completing 6,000 runs in T20s.

53.50: Mumbai’s Quinton De Kock has an average of 53.50 against Rajasthan, his best against any team in the league.

94.50: Buttler also has a tremendous record against his former side and has an average of 94.50 against them.

194: Rohit Sharma will become the second-highest appearance-maker in the Indian T20 League, surpassing Suresh Raina and trailing only Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has played 195 matches.

Writer’s pick

Mumbai’s middle-order has been in tremendous form and have been the key to their past two wins. Rajasthan’s batting line-up, on the other hand, has been inconsistent giving Mumbai the edge. We pick the reigning champions to win their third game on the trot.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Money Sharma

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