Consistently spoken of as among the favourites, both have progressed beyond the league stage in three out of four seasons since 2009, but don't have the silverware to show for such consistency.
Both teams will start their IPL VI campaigns with key players missing when they face off at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday (April 4). Bangalore will be without AB de Villiers, who would have walked into the team, but is doing duty for Nashua Titans in South Africa's domestic Twenty20 tournament. Also missing will be Zaheer Khan, who Virat Kohli, the Bangalore captain, said was "about 70 to 80 percent fit" on Wednesday, the eve of the match, and is likely to be "ready to go in about a couple of games".
Mumbai, meanwhile, will be deprived of the services of Lasith Malinga, the spearhead of the attack, who is nursing a sore back. Malinga is still in Sri Lanka and will reach Mumbai only on Friday to link up with the squad members still there. "We're just hoping for a speedy recovery, and hopefully he'll be okay for game three," said Ricky Ponting, the Mumbai captain.