PunterPolls Prediction – Qualifier 2: Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals at Kolkata, 24 May

Players and sides do strange things under pressure, especially in T20. They do stranger things in a T20 knockout situation. Ask Mumbai Indians. It’s a phenomenon that keeps getting stranger and stranger with every passing season: they are yet to win an IPL title in five previous attempts.

Troubled Rajasthan aim to continue fairytale | PunterPolls Prediction

If Rajasthan Royals are able to produce two more good games, it will be a fairytale for them, according to their captain Rahul Dravid. In many ways, irrespective of what happens next, it is already a fairytale, one that has played out alongside a horrid nightmare during the past week. For a side like Royals to stand on par with and challenge the mightiest of IPL franchises, such as Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, is nothing short of a fairytale.

Sanju Samson, Dishant Yagnik, Stuart Binny, Vikramjeet Malik, Pravin Tambe, and Siddharth Trivedi up against million-dollar superstars. Unknowns against men such as Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard, who have defined Twenty20 cricket. A think-tank of Dravid, Paddy Upton, Monty Desai, and Zubin Bharucha, against a think-tank of John Wright, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Anil Kumble, Jonty Rhodes and Robin Singh. "We don't believe in having bowling and fielding coaches," Dravid said. Belief comes automatically when you can't afford to have the luxury of a bloated support staff.

Even in a format that reduces relative superiority due to its crunched length, the second qualifier looks like a no-contest. But this is a knockout bout. Players and sides do strange things under pressure, especially in T20. They do stranger things in a T20 knockout situation. Ask Mumbai Indians. It's a phenomenon that keeps getting stranger and stranger with every passing season: they are yet to win an IPL title in five previous attempts. Their embarrassment of riches somehow turns into a proper embarrassment come knockout time. The latest instance was the first qualifier against Super Kings two days ago.

Dravid was right when he said after winning the eliminator that the pressure was on Mumbai Indians. Royals have made the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. They had little to lose against Sunrisers Hyderabad, and they will have less to lose against Mumbai Indians, a side that will feel it has not done well if it does not win the title, according to Dravid. Not only was that a smart way of reminding the opposition of the cross of expectation they bear, it was also the bitter truth.

Still, if Mumbai Indians had been asked to pick an opponent in a knockout situation, they would probably have chosen Royals, and would probably hope they could play the match as if it was a regular league game.

PunterPolls Predictions

Mumbai Indians, famous for crashing at big stages has to face gutsy Royals. Royals after been hammered by last week incidents is back strongly against the Sunrisers in the last match. Brad Hodge who has got quite a few opportunities in this tournament had proved himself in most of the times is danger man for Mumbai Indians here at Kolkata's Eden Garden.

That's for sure, that the pitch is slow and does support spinners and the team with good spinners does have better chances to win the game. But then, the team batsmen has to put enough run on the board. Rahul Dravid very well knows that MI does get under pressure while chasing and no-doubt would like to bat first after winning the toss. Whereas, Rohit Sharma must be in difficult position if will the toss. As they have two very good spinners and he knows his strength.

So, the toss does play an important role in this game, especially for Royals and our expert believe chasing 145+ is going to be difficult for Royals to chase. To keep in mind the strength of both  the teams, they have decided to go with Mumbai Indians.

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RESULT IPL 2013: Qualifier 2 - Royals v Mum Indians, 24 May

  • Mumbai Indians
    61%
  • Rajasthan Royals
    39%

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