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RCB vs MI Playing 11: Rohit Sharma may play Hardik Pandya card for duel with Virat Kohli

IPL 2021, RCB vs MI Playing 11 Team Prediction: RCB and MI are in the same boat at the moment, having lost back-to-back matches in the second phase of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty |
September 26, 2021 2:40:37 pm
IPL 2021 RCB Prediction Playing vs MI Prediction PlayingRCB vs MI Dream11 Team Prediction IPL 2021 (FILE)

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, Playing 11 Team For Today’s T20 Match: It’s a big fight between the outgoing captain and the captain-designate. Virat Kohli will step down as India’s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup next month and Rohit Sharma is set to take over.

The context is different in an IPL fixture between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, led by Kohli and Rohit respectively. But for both of them, this is an opportunity to score some captaincy brownie points.

RCB and MI are in the same boat at the moment, having lost back-to-back matches in the second phase of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates. RCB with 10 points vis-a-vis MI’s 8, at least have some breathing space. But if MI don’t win tonight, the defending champions could slip in the mire.

Misfiring middle-order

In their previous two matches, both RCB and MI were badly affected by a middle-order implosion. If the question for RCB is who after AB de Villiers, who is 37 years old and yet to hit his straps in this leg of the IPL, the question that embeds MI is about what has happened to Hardik Pandya?

Pandya’s niggle

The official communication says allrounder Pandya is recovering from a niggle, but being a member of India’s T20 World Cup squad, why isn’t he at the National Cricket Academy then for his rehab? The BCCI of late has made it mandatory for all its contracted cricketers to have a ‘fitness clearance’ from the NCA.

It would be interesting to see if Hardik turns up against RCB. Not only will it add meat to MI’s batting and bowling, but it will also remove doubts related to his fitness. Another missed game and whispers will grow louder. If Hardik plays, he will come in for Saurabh Tiwary.

Another likely change for MI could be Nathan Coulter-Nile for Adam Milne.

Ahmed for Saini?

As regards to RCB, Rajat Patidar could be brought in to shore up an iffy middle-order. And given the bigger outfield at the Dubai stadium, spin-allrounder Shahbaz Ahmed might replace pacer Navdeep Saini. The latter leaked runs against Chennai Super Kings and even when Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu were batting, Kohli didn’t seem to have enough confidence in Saini to give him a second spell.

RCB likely XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Rajat Patidar, Kyle Jamieson, KS Bharat, Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

MI likely XI: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya/Saurabh Tiwary, Adam Milne/Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

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