Kings XI Punjab bat first
Kings XI Punjab might currently be in fourth place but they know that a win over Mumbai Indians will be enough to lift them to the top of the IPL table. Although they are coming from an extended break, Kings XI Punjab should look to get off to a good start against Mumbai Indians kept their hopes of making it to the playoffs alive with a stunning win over Kings XI Punjab in Indore on Friday. Suryakumar Yadav scored a brilliant half-century early in the chase and then Krunal Pandya blasted 31* off just 12 balls to lead Mumbai to a six-wicket win. After the win, they move to fifth in the points table with six points in eight games. Mumbai Indians were chasing a target of 175. Kings XI Punjab posted 174 for 6 after they were asked to bat first by Rohit Sharma. Chris Gayle scored a half-century and some lusty blows from Marcus Stoinis lifted them to that score. On a small Indore ground, Kings XI would have liked a few more runs but this was also a competitor.
Kings XI Punjab might currently be in fourth place but they know that a win over Mumbai Indians will be enough to lift them to the top of the IPL table. Although they are coming from an extended break, Kings XI Punjab should look to get off to a good start against MI.
Considering the fact that they have the most destructive opening pair in the competition, that shouldn’t be too hard. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul have been devastating and have often made a mockery of small chases. While batting first, they have shown that they can be ruthless and set the perfect platform for the middle-order.Karun Nair has flown under the radar but has been an integral part of their batting line-up. The only concern was the form of Yuvraj Singh but he was dropped for Manoj Tiwary in their last game and it will be interesting to see if they stick with that change. The form of Aaron Finch is a concern as well but even he just needs one match to get going.
Punjab will be flying high on confidence after the being placed third with five wins from seven games and 10 points in their kitty.Mumbai’s batters, including skipper Rohit Sharma, have failed miserably in this year’s league.For Rohit’s side, except Suryakumar Yadav, who has 283 runs under his belt in eight matches as an opener, all others have been inconsistent.The Mumbai skipper also needs to rediscover his own form as he has struggled to get past 20 in six games.Big-hitting West Indian all-rounder Keiron Pollard, in his twilight years, has also been out of touch with just 76 runs from six innings.
South African Jean-Paul Duminy has featured in just a couple of games and played a single innings hitting 23 runs.Coming to the Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal, both showed glimpses of their batting prowess in the previous match Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and will aim to bolster the lower order with some lusty blows.Defending champions Mumbai Indians will be aiming to sort their ‘opening woes’ in both departments of the game when they take on a rejuvenated KXIP in a must-win IPL encounter, here on Friday. The three-time IPL champions are staring at an inglorious exit having brought up the rear so far, with only two wins in their kitty from eight games. On the other hand, KXIP, under Ravichandran Ashwin’s leadership, have won five out of their seven games, slowly but surely inching towards the Play-Offs. A week off has certainly helped the likes of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul recharge their batteries and they will be aiming to come out all guns blazing at their adopted home. KXIP season has been about collective performance.
They don’t have the ‘Orange Cap’ or ‘Purple Cap’ holders in their ranks but everyone has chipped in with impactful performances as and when required. ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle (252 runs) came into the tournament with a bruised ego and battered the bowlers into submission with two half-centuries and a hundred. Afghanistan’s rookie mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman, with an economy rate of 6.51 and seven wickets, has been nurtured well by skipper Ashwin, who has marshaled his resources well. The pace duo of Ankit Rajpoot and Andrew Tye have also done the job for the Preity Zinta co-owned outfit. For Mumbai, the primary reason for six defeats in eight matches has been poor start by openers along with new ball bowlers leaking too many runs in Powerplay overs.
While Suryakumar Yadav, with 283 runs from eight games, has performed decently after being promoted up the order, Caribbean left-hander Evin Lewis has not been able to replicate his form in international matches. Skipper Rohit Sharma (196 in 8 matches) has shuffled his own batting position but his inconsistency has also hurt MI big time