When: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, April 14, 2017 - 16:00 IST
Where: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
What to expect: Mostly sunny with a high of 35 degree Celsius. Traditionally, a bat second wicket and Friday's clash offers added incentive for teams to bowl first given it's a 4PM start and batting will get easier in the second innings under lights.
History: Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have always enjoyed a strong rivalry in IPL that was evenly matched until last season, when Mumbai won both their clashes against the Royal Challengers to open a slight 11-8 advantage. Royal Challengers have also won just one of their last five encounters against Mumbai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
While Kohli's return cures one major headache for RCB, they have a bevy of selection issues to address going into two back-to-back home games. Barring one good over to Amit Mishra in the win against Delhi Daredevils, stand-in captain Shane Watson has been found out of his depths with both bat and ball. There's a school of thought that would see RCB reinstate Chris Gayle at the top and replace one of Watson or Billy Stanlake with Sreenath Arvind or Aniket Choudhary.
RCB will also need to eke out more from the two left-arm spinners - Pawan Negi and Iqbal Abdulla - currently in the eleven and hope the likes of Mandeep Singh and Stuart Binny find some form with the bat at the earliest or run the risk of having to constantly chop and change combination.
Probable XI: Virat Kohli (c), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav(wk), Shane Watson, Mandeep Singh, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Iqbal Abdulla, Tymal Mills, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sreenath Arvind/Aniket Choudhary
Mumbai Indians are unlikely to ring in any changes just yet although there are a couple of minor nagging issues that need addressing. Captain Rohit Sharma, the team's most valuable batsman, is yet to aggregate 10 runs in the tournament and has struggled to get his innings started against spin from the middle order. A return to his favoured opening slot should help him but that is a change the team management is unlikely to enforce so early into the season. Mitchell McClenaghan hasn't quite touched the heights he managed last year and needs a good show early on to hold off competition from the chasing pack including Mitchell Johnson, Tim Southee and Co.