Bangalore: Barring the opening encounter, the first round of the IPL has seen one-sided mismatches, but Tuesday’s second game offers the prospect of a much closer clash. Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are two of the strongest sides in the tournament, possessing plenty of power-hitters, who are backed by world-class bowlers.
Mumbai rode on Lasith Malinga’s brilliance against Delhi Daredevils in a match that was rendered a no-contest. The small chase allowed the Mumbai top order to spend some time in the middle; Sachin Tendulkar eased to an unbeaten 46 while Rohit Sharma got a start.
The Bangalore attack of Daniel Vettori, Zaheer Khan and Dirk Nannes will provide a stiff challenge but the key will be how their batsmen handle Malinga. Especially for batsmen who haven’t seen much of him, Malinga’s yorkers, delivered from a very low height, can be unplayable. Fortunately for Bangalore, this isn’t the case for the core of their line-up. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Virat Kolhi, AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary have faced Malinga sufficiently enough to be used to his unique style. He will nevertheless be difficult to get away, but they could look at how Virender Sehwag handled him in Delhi, even playing out a maiden when it was required.