Mumbai Indians will take on the in-form Kings XI Punjab in what promises to be a mouth-watering contest.
Both teams are pretty well matched and after the loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai from now on will have every game as a do-or-die game. KXIP on the other hand will like to add a couple of points to their tally and climb up the points table against a rather out of sorts Mumbai side. It’s not been like Mumbai is playing poorly but it’s just that they have not finished off games properly in the first half of this VIVO IPL and hence are now struggling to cope up with the pressure of winning every match.
These two teams will lock horns for the first time in this year’s VIVO IPL. Both the teams will be looking to make the most out of this match given that we are at the business end of the tournament. Both have won equal number of matches (10 each) against each other in the IPL and hence this encounter is expected to be a nail-biter.
It was pretty evident in their earlier match against RCB where Mumbai almost crumbled under pressure both with the ball as well as with the bat. In the previous match, despite RCB getting off to a flyer, the Mumbai bowlers bowled excellently till the 20th over before all the hardwork was thrown away by Mitchell McClenaghan.
McClenaghan bowled fairly well till the last ball when he bowled a high full toss which was smacked over square-leg for a massive six by Colin de Grandhomme. A high full toss meant that it was signalled a no-ball and he had to again bowl the last ball which unfortunately too was smashed for a six. 13 runs came off just the final delivery of the RCB innings and MI eventually lost the game by 14 runs. Clearly that last over cost them the game. In batting too, Rohit Sharma and co needed around 34 runs in last 3 overs and Krunal Pandya just couldn’t hit the long ball.
The KXIP side on the other hand will be coming into action after a week-long break. Their batting looked dismal in their previous game versus the Sunrisers Hyderabad team and hence one believes that this break would mean that the players can regroup and try to come out harder against Mumbai. Punjab will be pretty confident of their bowling, especially after the way Ankit Rajpoot performed in their previous match. Except for maybe the captain’s indifferent form, the bowling pretty much looks nice and settled with the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Andrew Tye in their line-up.
Team News and Strategies:
The Punjab team looks a lot more settled and is expected to play the same line-up which played in their previous match. Ankit Rajpoot will be crucial for Punjab in the powerplay overs with the new ball. As we have seen in previous matches Evin Lewis has some problems facing the swinging ball and hence if it is swinging we might see Sran and Rajpoot both bowling else there’s a chance that Ashwin might open the bowling with Rajpoot. Mujeeb will be brought on as soon as Rohit comes to batting since we have seen him struggle against leg-spin in the past.
Evin Lewis will return to the Mumbai side and will replace Pollard in all probabilities. The one change that the away side should try and make and not stick with their strategy of left-right combination at the crease is to play Rohit at number three. The skipper up the order can be as dangerous as any other batsman in that side. Following him up in the batting order should be Hardik Pandya and Ben Cutting ahead of Krunal Pandya. Krunal has not been in great touch and hence should be demoted down the order and Cutting should be given the opportunity to express his destructive self.
Kings XI Punjab: Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Manoj Tiwary, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Ankit Rajpoot and Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande and Jasprit Bumrah.