IPL 2020 MI vs RR Preview: Steve Smith eyes to score big against rampaging Mumbai Indians

Rajasthan Royals is all geared up to take on the table toppers, Mumbai Indians in match 18 of Indian Premier League on Tuesday at Abu Dhabi. The two teams come into the match with contrasting forms, the Royals having suffered a defeat against RCB, while Mumbai successfully defended a total at Sharjah against the Sun Risers. The Royals would be eager to get two more points on the board, against a team they’ve had a good recent record.

Venue talk

The Royals were unbeaten at Abu Dhabi prior to the RCB and would need to find their mojo back to get a win against a strong Mumbai Indians side. The Royals are yet to win outside of Sharjah this year and would be looking to notch a win on Tuesday to get going. This will be the Royals’ second game in the capital city and one would have to believe that they are better placed with regards to the venue compared to their first game. MI on the other hand are based in Abu Dhabi and would look to continue on their win against KXIP at the venue.

Word from the camp

Steve Smith: 

“The last two games haven’t gone to plan for us after what was a really good start to the tournament. But I guess that’s the way T20 cricket goes sometimes. We haven’t played our best games in our last two and have been outplayed by the opposition on both occasions. It’s about regrouping and moving forward now, trying to get better and get some  wins on the board in the coming games.”

“Hopefully I’m able to score a few runs tomorrow. I’ve missed out on the last two games but that happens. We’ll see which of our players fit in our plans for tomorrow’s match and fit in certain scenarios in the game and try and get the best match-ups for Mumbai.”   

Early Team news

The big news from the camp is that Ben Stokes has joined the team hotel and is serving his mandatory quarantine period, post which he will join the squad.

Opposition chatter

Mumbai Indians are top of the table and looking very strong. This is likely to be the Royals’ toughest challenge yet against the Mumbai juggernaut. MI have a settled line-up with a deep batting line-up and an experienced bowling group too. A strong opposition, with some good results in Abu Dhabi, Mumbai will be looking to continue their ride to the top and would look to make it three wins on the bounce with an in-form set-up.

The big talking point

The Royals have struggled with their batting outside of Sharjah which has been detrimental to their chances of winning games, however, the performance of Mahipal Lomror was a big positive from the last match. Bowling wise, the attack has performed well, however, must improve its wicket-taking. Jofra Archer continues to strike fear in opposition batsmen. Coach McDonald and the management will have been working hard to figure out their best XI, figuring the best utilisation of the players in hand and working out a combination that can win important games.