Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Focus on Pollard, Alzarri as MI face Royals

Focus on Pollard, Alzarri as MI face Royals

"He should be back in the next game", stand-in skipper Pollard said after leading MI to a last-ball three-wicket win over KXIP. When the side steps out to face Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, it's very likely that Rohit Sharma will be fit to return to duty.

RR's batting line-up, including skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith and Jos Buttler will need to pull up their socks to confront the Mumbai bowlers at the Wankhede Stadium.

Chasing 198 to win could be tricky and Pollard said the idea was to break it down and target two Kings XI bowlers.

Mumbai have a slight advantage over Rajasthan in the IPL claiming 11 wins in 21 matches, while the inaugural IPL champions have got nine wins to their name against the three-time champions, with one ending in no result.

Pollard smashed a whirlwind 83 off 31 balls that contained 10 sixes and three fours to take Mumbai on the doorsteps of victory and Hardik Pandya described the big-hitting West Indian as a legend.

Pollard, who came to the crease when MI lost Suryakumar Yadav with 56 on the board in the 8th over, also pointed out to the impressive start in the run chase. Rohit's replacement Siddhesh Lad, who made his debut after waiting for five years in the dugout, hit the first ball he faced in the IPL for a six, but was eventually bowled by Shami while trying to flick by moving across the stumps.

On the other hand, while Rahul obviously played a key hand for Kings XI Punjab, his strike rate of 156.25 was marginally lower than the combined the strike rate of the batsmen at the other end, which was 160.7.

Now whether Rohit Sharma will play against Rajasthan or not, it's a big question. Evin Lewis may get an opportunity in place of an out-of-form Quinton de Kock. Suryakumar Yadav and the Pandya brothers have chipped in with handy contributions. Rahul Chahar is the lone spinner.

Rajasthan Royals look like a team that is lacking confidence and belief. The team was down and out in the middle, but Pollard's innings staged a tremendous comeback for Mumbai. Jos Buttler, 3. Steve Smith, 4 Sanju Samson, 5. Rahul Tripathi may be promoted higher up the order. Jofra Archer, 9. Shreyas Gopal, 10.

"I'm sure guys will take it on and learn from these mistakes. You don't think about much because there are a lot of opinions, there are a lot of things, but it's people as close to you and what they think matters".

Editorial team of CricketCountry.

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