IPL Match Preview: Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals.
Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
When: Sunday 25 May, 15.30 BST.
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The night game on Sunday will see the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals battle it out for the final play-off spot at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
While a win by any margin for the Rajasthan would be enough for them to make the top four, Mumbai will have to win by a massive margin to push ahead of the visitors on net run rate.
The hosts will either need to beat the Royals by 42 runs while batting first, or will have to chase down any total between 130 and 201 in just 87 balls to make it through to the playoffs.
While Rohit Sharma’s side are up against a daunting task, they will take heart from the fact that the Kolkata Knight Riders achieved a similar result against the Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday to pip Chennai to second spot in the rankings.
Captain Rohit though will be faced with the conundrum of whether to bat or bowl first.
The skipper himself acknowledges that defending a total at the Wankhede is extremely difficult, and hence it will be interesting to see whether the team management opts to back their strength and bat first, or try to chase a modest total down by restricting the opposition first up.
One gets the feeling though that Mumbai have a better chance if they bat first and post in excess of 200 against a team that has faltered by experimenting too much in recent games, and thus may be a bit jittery when having to chase in excess of 160.