All-time meetings: Rajasthan Royals W6, Mumbai Indians W8, No Result 1
Coach: Paddy Upton
Captain: Ajinkya Rahane
Rajasthan were embarrassed against the rampant Chennai Super Kings last time out as the Royals conceded 204 and were subsequently skittled for just 140 so they will be eager to bounce back here.
The failures of Royals leading run scorer Sanju Samson in the last two matches has been telling as no other Rajasthan player has scored a half century in the tournament, exposing a glaring weakness in the squad and their over-reliance on Samson
In a somewhat surprising move, D’Arcy Short was dropped after he finally seemed to hit some form as Henrich Klassen was called in for his first match and only scored 7. Short could see his way into the XI in the hope the Royals can recapture their form from their match against RCB where they scored 217.
Coach: Mahela Jayawardene
Captain: Rohit Sharma
After a slow start to the tournament, Mumbai claimed their first win in style against Bangalore as the Indians smashed 213 and bowled well to restrict the star studded line-up to just 168 so there are signs that they have turned the corner.
Evin Lewis has been a good contributor with the bat for Mumbai this season scoring 142 runs in his four matches and has surprised many with his performances. In the bowling department, youngster Mayank Markande has continued to impress and sits atop the wickets taken ladder with eight and has taken those wickets at an economy of just 7.53. It is also important to note that Markande has taken more wickets than Sunil Narine in two less games which is a great honour for the young man.
Mumbai were very solid all-round last match and are tipped to go in unchanged barring any unknown injuries as several of their key players are just starting to find their best form now.
Although we are still relatively early in the tournament, these two teams are in the group of most disappointing. Both teams have frustrated their supporters with inconsistent performances and close finishes. Whilst Mumbai have only won the one match, these losses have all been absolute thrillers and gone down to the final or penultimate ball. Rajasthan on the other hand have been up and down all tournament. The Royals really need to see a consistent performance from players other than Samson if they are to be a threat in IPL 2018. Mumbai are the team coming of a dominant win and with confidence high and the desperation for a second win, expect to see the Indians come out firing and topple the unpredictable Royals.