Mumbai Indians may be sitting on top of the table, but two defeats in the last three games coupled with the happenings elsewhere in the tournament, have ensured that they aren’t in a comfortable position just yet. What was supposed to be a race for the top two spots by now has turned into a game of survival. At this stage, they still need two more victories in the last three games to rubber-stamp their playoff berth. And meeting them first-up in this race are Royal Challengers Bangalore, the only team MI haven’t defeated in this tournament.

RCB’s situation isn’t too different from MI. if anything, they are slightly worse-placed in this situation – by a margin of 1.16 on NRR to be precise. That’s too much of a catch to do, and hence a victory on Wednesday (October 28) becomes all the more critical for the Virat Kohli-led side.

While Royal Challengers Bangalore may have won both their games in Abu Dhabi so far, it is still the den of the defending champions, who have aced the process of notching up 190+ scores. And batting second didn’t get any tougher as they realised in their loss against Rajasthan Royals in the previous game. Even though MI have lost two out of their four games in the tournament at this venue, they have played the dimensions and the pace better than any other team. It is their last chance in the league phase to make the most of the familiar venue.

Mumbai Indians despite playing only 13 players in the tournament so far, will be hindered by the absence of Rohit Sharma. A lot rides on this game for both teams. The ladder of IPL is crowded at the top and both would look to wrestle away to a lonelier place.

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