Wankhede Stadium hasn’t been a fortress for Rohit Sharma’s team Mumbai this season as it used to be in previous years. Unlike yesteryears, Mumbai haven’t got the desired results at their turf and a recent defeat to a struggling Rajasthan unit is the perfect specimen of it.
Up next for them is Virat Kohli’s team Bengaluru, who registered their first victory of the 2019 Indian T20 League against Ravichandran Ashwin’s Punjab at Mohali on Saturday. As we speak of Mumbai vs Bengaluru, it has rather been a one-sided affair, to say the least.
Since in the inception, the two teams have met 24 times, with the hosts, Mumbai, registering victory on 15 occasions, while the visitors managing mere nine. Their recent encounters, on the other hand, depict a similar story altogether, with Mumbai winning four of their last five fixtures.
Judging by Mumbai’s struggle at home coupled with Bengaluru’s recent victory, reaching a conclusion on the basis of history would be a harsh thing to do.
That being said, let’s take a look at three players you should pick from the tie.
Batsman: AB de Villiers
Sajjad Hussain / AFP
Arguably one of the most explosive batsmen in the shortest format of the game, South Africa’s AB de Villiers along with his partner in crime, Virat Kohli, has played several vital knocks in helping Bengaluru registering decent totals – regardless of the final outcome.
As far as the current season is concerned, he has scalped 232 runs from seven games at an impressive average of 46.40. There, however, remains an argument over de Villiers’ name ahead of Kohli given that the latter has scalped more runs than the former, but the fact remains that the South African’s artistry of hitting big during the course is sure to give you bonus points.
Bowler: Yuzvendra Chahal
Sajjad Hussain / AFP
Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been a glaring light for Bengaluru in a rather underwhelming season. With 11 wickets in seven fixtures, the 28-year-old sits third in the standing of most wickets taken this season. Even an economy of 7.07. Even his bowling strike rate of 15.27 is amongst the very best in the lot.
For those having a conundrum between Chahal and Mumbai pacer Jasprit Bumrah needs to look down to numbers. And Bumrah, on his part, lacks in that trait, as Chahal – with a bowling average of 18.00 compared to Bumrah’s 23.37 – excels big time.
All-rounder: Hardik Pandya
Punit Paranjpe / AFP
With not many options available for grabs, Mumbai’s Hardik Pandya remains the safest bet from the lot. It is, however, safe to say the 25-year-old is enduring a rather difficult tenure in the 2019 Indian T20 League. While he has been pretty decent with the bat, his return with the ball hasn’t been that prolific.
Scoring 149 runs in seven innings at 37.25, Pandya has scalped mere six wickets this season and carries a bowling average of 35.33 coupled with a poor economy of 10.34. His exploits with the bat, especially during the death overs, remains the only bonus over his selection.