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MI vs RCB, IPL 2024: Rohit-Kohli in focus as Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bengaluru look for important win

Besides being the leading light of Indian – and international – cricket fraternity for well over a decade, at least one of them has led his team in one of the most high-profile IPL rivalries of the last dozen editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). For the first time after IPL 2011, however, neither of them will be involved at the toss.

Still, such is their stature that the focus will firmly be on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as Mumbai Indians host Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday. No doubt numerous other aspects will be carefully followed from either camp but the duo will obviously be the show-stoppers.

Such has been their stature and aura that transcends oppositions, teams and regions when it comes to the way Kohli and Rohit are respected and idolised by cricketers and worshipped by fans. The duo’s presence will perhaps offer a relief for Hardik Pandya, the MI captain who has been facing flak from the fans.

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Both Rohit and Kohli will be aware that they will have to translate their reputation into a match-winning knock come Thursday. After all, their teams have had a mediocre start to the IPL.

It will also be interesting to see whether the Australian duo of Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green – who have been far from impressive so far – can come good at their former IPL home ground.

Similarly, MI will be banking on Suryakumar Yadav to get into the run-scoring mode to build on the quick starts offered by Rohit and Ishan Kishan so far.

Just like Sunday – when 439 runs were scored – the bowlers could well have a nightmarish experience midweek. Unless of course the bowlers can keep Kohli and Rohit in check!

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