Defending champions Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab will both head into Thursday’s Indian Premier League clash on the back of heartbreaking losses.
Mumbai began their season with a loss to Chennai Super Kings. But the champs bounced back with a win over the Kolkata Knight Riders. But they once again failed to notch up a win in their next match as they lost to the Virat Kohli-led RCB. Mumbai Indians will have to bowl at their very best. The Rohit Sharma-led side will have to try and restrict Punjab to a low total which might make things easy for their capable batsmen.
Mumbai Indians are blessed with a splendid batting firepower with the likes of Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan at the top-order, followed by the big-hitting Pollard and Hardik Pandya. They were one of the favourites to finish among the top four teams.
A major cause of concern for them will be pace ace Jaspirt Bumrah’s inconsistency. But in the super-over against RCB Jasprit Bumrah was incredible with the ball. There’s no doubt that Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, and James Pattinson are all world-class bowlers. But considering the recent form, it is Kings XI Punjab who is likely to win the game.
Like Mumbai Indians Punjab has also scripted a similar story till now. After losing to Delhi Capitals in their opener, KXIP came back strongly to register their first points by defeating RCB. But, despite a fabulous batting display, they lost to Rajasthan. KXIP have failed to tighten the screws when it mattered most. In their two losses, they were in a good position but could not grab the moments.The Kings have been in fantastic form in the competition and both their losses have been by narrow margins.
Skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have made inspiring starts this season, hitting a century and a fifty each, and getting the duo out early will be the key for Mumbai. In the three matches gone so far, Kings’ openers have done the bulk of the scoring, and the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, and Karun Nair have failed to contribute. But their bowling looked out of sorts against Rajasthan as they failed to defend a big total .The bowlers led by Mohammed Shami, have had their moments, but they lacked consistency as Rajasthan took them to the cleaners. Ravi Bishnoi was the only economical bowler in the previous game.
Given the way things have gone in the last few matches, the upcoming match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians promises to be a cracker of a contest. The two teams are going neck and neck on the points table and a win here will push the winners firmly into the top four. These are still early days in the tournament, but both teams would desperately want to put those two points on the board by posting a win here.
Possible playing XI of Mumbai Indians :
Quinton de Kock(w), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
Mumbai Indians squad :
Rohit Sharma (C), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton De Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult.
Possible playing XI of Kings XI Punjab :
Mayank Agarwal, Lokesh Rahul(w/c), Nicholas Pooran/ Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, James Neesham, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Kings XI Punjab squad :
KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, K Gowtham, J Suchith, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhsimran Singh, Harpreet Brar.