Mumbai Indians vs RCB: Which franchise has a better squad?
Mumbai Indians have been one of the most successful sides over the 11 editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). And going into IPL 2019, Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai have the right attributes to enjoy a decent campaign. On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore have not delivered consistent performances in the T20 league. We compare the squads of these two franchises.
Looking at the batting of both teams
During 2019 auction, RCB strengthened the middle-order and this will help them reduce their dependency on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. But the opening combination remains a worry. They don't have a settled pair, who can fire atop. Meanwhile, Mumbai have several top-order batsmen, but their middle-order lacks the zeal. A lot will depend on Rohit to guide the team.
Verdict: RCB's batting unit looks much stronger
Compared to Mumbai, RCB's batting unit looks much stronger. They have more firepower and their two legends, AB de Villiers and Kohli, can thrash any bowling line-up. Mumbai would struggle in matches where their top order doesn't fire. The depth remains the biggest worry.
Looking at the all-round options of both teams
RCB have utility foreign all-rounders like Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis and Colin de Grandhomme. But they will not play together. Debutant Shivam Dube is their main Indian all-rounder. He cannot afford to have a poor season. Mumbai are well sorted here, with them retaining their regular core players. Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal are genuine match-winners. Kieron Pollard and Ben Cutting offer quality support.
Verdict: Mumbai have an edge in all-round department
Both teams have quality in their ranks and their all-rounders will have a crucial season in 2019. Mumbai have a slight edge here. Their experience could come into play in close matches. The attributes of Hardik and Krunal in particular give them a breathing space.
How does the bowling department look like?
Umesh Yadav was on song, last season, for RCB. International bowlers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Tim Southee bring solidity. Yuzvendra Chahal leads the spin attack with Washington Sundar and Pawan Negi available to support him. Mumbai have a dream pace attack comprising of foreigners. Further, Jasprit Bumrah's death bowling is world class. Spin department is where Mumbai fall short. Mayank Markande is their best bet.
Verdict: MI slightly ahead in terms of bowling
MI's vast pool of pacers gives them an upper hand. Also their all-rounders can destroy the batting line-up of opponents. RCB do not have quality pacers in their squad, except Umesh. Spinners Sundar and Negi haven't been able to deliver consistent performances.
Head-to-head meetings between the two teams
Last season, the two sides shared the spoils. Mumbai beat RCB by 46 runs at the Wankhede. RCB then got the better of Mumbai by 14 runs in their own backyard. In overall head-to-head meetings, Mumbai enjoy an edge over RCB. The sides have faced each other 23 times. Mumbai have won 14, with RCB being victorious on nine occasions.