High on confidence, formidable Mumbai Indians would be eyeing their fifth consecutive win as their skipper Rohit Sharma has shown some promise in the last game against resurgent Gujarat Lions while claiming the six-wicket win at home on Sunday (April 16).
Mumbai has been on roll following the major contribution from both batsmen and bowlers, who has equally been supported by fielders to share the major chunk of success.
On the other side, Manan Vohra’s remarkable 95 runs were overshadowed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s brilliant four-over quota in which he claimed five wickets, for giving away 19 runs. Kings XI Punjab lost the game by five runs.
Lacking the lustre after a rousing start, Glenn Maxwell–led team would be aiming to bounce back to improve their rank in the points table.
However, having an only one quality spinner in the form of Axar Patel, it would turn out as the huge responsibility for the pace bowlers to extend their support to slow bowlers.
Kings XI Punjab:
Kings XI Punjab is heavily relying on their batting department. However, the Mohali-based outfit is further looking to bank on local pool of fast bowlers to excel as the cash-rich tournament enters its third week.
In the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the side relied on Manan Vohra, who did well with the bat as on the other side the batsmen struggled to spend quality time at the crease in a bid to win the match.
Kings XI Punjab is placed at number five position with two wins out of five matches they’ve played so far.
It becomes pertinent that Kings XI has lost all three matches after winnings first two matches convincingly under the tutelage of Glenn Maxwell, who has shown early promise with the bat and as a leader.
However, they are capable of bouncing back against any strong contingent in the field.
Men in Blue has been in rollicking form as they have registered four consecutive wins after losing their opening encounter against Rising Pune Supergiant. A couple of changes here and there has balanced the unit as they shed the tag of slow starters.
Mumbai Indians is relying on experience and the blend of youth, who have delivered so far both with the bat and a ball.
Their cause of concern was Rohit Sharma’s low string of scores, but the right-handed batsman played a significant knock in the last game against Gujarat Lions to entertain the home crowd.
View on Think Tank:
Kings XI Punjab:
Glenn Maxwell’s major headache is to find rhythm back to work as a unit after some early hiccups in the ongoing Twenty20 tournament. It’s expected there would be some changes in the bowling line-up and alternatives might come to forth in the form of another all-rounder as Marcus Stoinis didn’t look that much threatening against their opponents.
So far, we have witnessed the local talent in bowling hasn’t delivered according to their prominence they have shown in the recent past which is definitely a big worry for the support staff and coach in particular.
It’s expected they might make one change or would go with the same side they played against Gujarat Lions.
Having the services of Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene, the former skipper is giving his best for the Mumbai Indians camp.
However, the experience of the coaching staff alongside senior campaigners in the line-up has boosted the morale of youngsters in the form of two brothers; Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.
The think tank is further relying on how to make use of the bowlers, who would be pretty effective in the death overs.
However, the team has gelled as a unit; the skipper would like to continue his form to play the significant role for his side.
Kings XI Punjab:
After an explosive start with two wins, Kings XI has come to a halt after joint failures in last three matches which have shaken the team as a unit.
However, having the best in business, the players would be banking on their strength to get back on the track as soon as possible with a couple of wins.
They have a good batting line-up in the squad which further includes Hashim Amla, Glenn Maxwell, Manan Vohra, David Miller, Eoin Morgan, Martin Guptill and Shaun Marsh, who have the capability to slay the best bowling attack with their power-hitting and exquisitely timing the ball.
Luckily, Mumbai has a strong unit in both the department. Their batters have the capability to post and eventually chase down the big totals.
However, their bowling has been a fascinating feature to watch out for who could change the scenario of the match in the death overs.
Having the services of Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Tim Southee and Mitchell Johnson Mumbai is an asset.
Moreover, Mumbai Indians’ openers are supposed to show more responsibility at the top to give some early advantage to their middle-order line-up particularly while chasing down the tricky totals.
Head to Head:
Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians have played 18 matches until the ninth edition of Indian Premier League.
Interestingly, both the teams have registered nine wins each as their winning ratio stands at 50 per cent. However, Mumbai Indians have won two IPL titles.
Striking with the similarities, both teams have witnessed many ups and downs during the past nine seasons
It’s going to be an interesting battle between both the sides as they have a decent line-up at the helm.
As the summer season is making it pretty tough already the pitch is expected to have plenty of runs on an offer considering the fact that it’s the shortest version of the game.
However, having the quality bowlers available Mumbai Indians would give a tough challenge to the hosts.
On the other side, Kings XI Punjab skipper in the form of Glenn Maxwell would be relying on his aggressive brand of cricket.
While playing at home the Holkar pitch is expected to do well which is also a second home-base for Kings XI.
Interestingly, both the teams have strong batting line-up and it would be a fascinating game to see how their bowlers will roll it on against each other.
If Kings XI Punjab would bat first they are likely to post 175-plus on board. However, Mumbai Indians may score 165-plus.
Kings XI could emerge as winners even after losing three matches in a row considering the fact that they have a good line-up, who have shown their ability in two opening games of the ongoing IPL season.