RCB eyes turnaround over MI

Placed seventh and sixth respectively, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians will be eager for victory when the two sides clash in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

After suffering two successive defeats, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli will be eager to scalp a win over Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.   -  PTI

Things are going from bad to worse for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, RCB succumbed to its fifth loss in seven games as the visitor chased down a target of 176 with five balls to spare. 

Virat Kohli, however, will look to draw positives from his team's loss. RCB, without the services of AB De Villiers - who missed out due to viral fever - rode on a fine start by openers Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum.

The duo used the sweep shot effectively against KKR's spinners and will perhaps be banking on it should Mumbai Indians choose to open its bowling with in-form leg-spinner Mayank Markande. 

The form of skipper Kohli, who once again impressed with the bat scoring a 44-ball 68, will be a huge plus for the host going into Tuesday's encounter. Kohli has rarely been troubled this season but has struggled to find support at the other end. 

And while Kohli's top-order masterclass has, at times, masked RCB's middle-order woes, against an attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard, the batting will be put to test. Corey Anderson has fluffed the chances that have come his way - both with bat and ball - and may have to make way for English all-rounder Moeen Ali, whose batting could add much-needed depth to the line-up. 

In the bowling department, Tamil Nadu spinner Murugan Ashwin struck twice in his debut game against KKR and is expected to retain his place for the Mumbai encounter. The form of Indian speedster Umesh Yadav, though, will be a cause for concern. Yadav conceded 36 off 19 balls against KKR at an economy rate of 11.37. He had little help from Kiwi pacer Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj, both of whom went for more than eight runs an over. 

RCB will also be wary of its sloppy fielding; dropped catches and missed run out opportunities against KKR made life easier for the opposition batsmen.  

Mumbai with its own share of woes

Its opponent Mumbai, too, has had a similar start to the first-half of the season, losing five of its seven matches. But the eight-wicket win against Chennai Super Kings will be a shot in the arm. Bestowed with power-hitters like captain Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, Mumbai's inability to translate big names into points on the table has been one of the mysteries of the season. 

West Indies batsman Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav have enjoyed a formidable partnership at the top and Mumbai will be hoping for more of the same when the pair walks out to bat against RCB. Sharma's form, however, seems to have deserted him - 196 runs from seven games at 145.18 rarely doing justice to the right-hander's lofty standards. 

In the middle order, Hardik and Pollard have produced sparks of brilliance but nothing substantial has come off their bats yet. 

With the ball, Mumbai has been hurt by pace spearhead Bumrah's lack of wickets. The 24-year-old has eight wickets so far at an economy rate of 7.21. Leg-spinner Markande meanwhile has been one of the exciting finds this year; his 10 wickets at 7.52 stifling the opposition batters. On a Chinnaswamy track with grip and turn, Markande will be hoping to pile misery on the RCB batsmen. 

Mumbai and Bangalore are six and seven in the points table and a win in the next game is quintessential to putting their otherwise wobbly campaigns back on track.