Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals IPL 2024: Can MI’s Slow Start Be Overcome at Wankhede?

The clash between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals at Wankhede Stadium holds significant importance, especially as MI tends to start IPL seasons slowly but gains momentum later, while RR tends to have the opposite trajectory.

The Rajasthan Royals, who have won both of their games this season, stand in their way. Will this be a time of transition for either of them?

Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals IPL 2024: Can MI’s Slow Start Be Overcome at Wankhede?

Big Picture

In the IPL, the Mumbai Indians usually get off to a lackluster start before gaining significant traction in the final stretch. The Rajasthan Royals typically take the opposite tack. As a result, games involving these two clubs, particularly at Wankhede Stadium, can take on importance that defines the entire season. Recall the moment when Tim David defeated Jason Holder 6–6, 6 in 2014, or when Rahul Dravid threw away his cap in the previous year.

Even though the IPL 2024 season is still early, there is something familiar about the lead-up to this match. Mumbai has suffered two losses and the Royals have won their last two games in a row.

Given the quality of their squad, you can expect Mumbai to get going quickly. Returning to the comfortable confines of the Wankhede will also help them in a season where home teams will likely dominate (new captain Hardik Pandya in particular will be hoping for a similar atmosphere).

They will be reminding themselves that they should have most likely defeated Gujarat Titans in their season-opening match, and they will find solace in the fact that they gave Sunrisers Hyderabad a serious fright when trying to chase down an absurd 278.

The Royals, on the other hand, have won two satisfying games. They were placed under duress but were able to prevail against the Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals thanks in large part to the performances of their middle order and death bowlers. They haven’t faced a team with the same amount of hitting power as Mumbai, though, so it might put their bowling and batting depth to the test, as well as their Impact Player approach.

Thus, these are two strong teams that could both advance far in the competition. Although Mumbai has a history of rallying from bad starts, you can’t read too much into their performances at this point. They will be keen to avoid suffering a third straight loss.

Also Read: CSK Wins 2023 IPL Final to Crown Joint 5 Times Champions

Team News Mumbai Indians

In their first two games of the season, Mumbai has already utilized 14 players, each having a completely different impact in and out of the game. This was partially caused by a niggle that kept Luke Wood out of their match against the Sunrisers; if he feels well again, expect him to replace Kwena Maphaka.

Team News Rajasthan Royals

Due to comparable conditions (toss, match) the Royals decided to play with the same lineup in their opening two games. Rovman Powell is probably going to fill in as an impact substitute hitter if they need one.

Stats Analysis

While Rohit Sharma’s loss of the Mumbai captaincy has garnered attention, the fact that he is lighting up the powerplay has largely gone unnoticed. In the first six overs of this season, he has amassed 50 runs off just 28 balls with one wicket conceded. His powerplay strike rate of 178.57 is the highest of any IPL season, with his 2015 total of 150.84 a distant second.

However, the new-ball bowling of the Royals might perhaps neutralize Rohit during the powerplay. Naturally, they have Trent Boult, but they also have Sandeep Sharma, a swing bowler who hasn’t bowled in a powerplay this season. Sandeep, one of the most effective powerplay bowlers in IPL history, has done a fantastic job adjusting to a new role in the death overs. However, his 44 deliveries, 38 runs, and five dismissals against Rohit in the IPL make a strong case for him to get the new ball again.

Pitch And Conditions

In the 2023 Indian Premier League, the Wankhede venue had the fastest run rate (10.14). When the fast bowlers were in action, the score was highest (10.99), and when the spinners were in play, it was second quickest (8.80). Only Dharamshala beat it at the end of play (12.26). It was the quickest frequently used venue in the powerplay (9.91), the second fastest in the middle overs (9.58), and the fastest at the death. Therefore, there’s a probability that we’ll see some run-scoring.

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