Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore will hope for a turnaround in fortunes with the return of their skipper Virat Kohli, who has been declared match fit, when they take on a confident Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League 2017 match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.
The Delhi batsman was declared fit on Thursday by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) medical team and will look to boost the confidence of Bangalore, who have lost two out of the three matches that they have played so far in his absence.
In Kohli’s absence, South African AB de Villiers made his presence felt in the previous game against Kings XI Punjab, when he smashed his way to an unbeaten 89 off just 46 balls to help RCB post a respectable 148-4 on his comeback after recovering from an injury.
But his single-handed effort failed to take the team home as Royal Challengers went down by eight wickets. With the likes of Chris Gayle and Shane Watson failing to fire, Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav was the lone consistent performer in the opening games.
Among the bowlers, seamer Billy Stanlake and spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Pawan Negi have been among the wickets.
On the other hand, back from two consecutive home victories, third-placed Mumbai will be eager to get an away victory in the early stages of the tournament.
After the narrow win against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, the Rohit Sharma-led side dominated with both bat and ball to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets on Wednesday.
Mumbai will, however, be a bit worried with the form of Rohit and West Indian Keiron Pollard, who have so far failed to get a good score in the tournament.
The top order has been among the runs with openers Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler giving Mumbai good starts. In the middle order, youngster Nitish Rana stood out with scores of 34, 50, 45 in the last three matches.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya delivered in the first two matches with the bat while brother Krunal was in business with the ball against KKR and Hyderabad.
In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga and Mitchell McClenaghan were among the wickets in the last match.