Playing at home venue is the best comfort the IPL team face and Saturday’s match against Kings XI Punjab may just give the fresh start Mumbai Indians are looking for. They were unbeaten in all home games last season and will hope they can keep the table-toppers away from ruining their winning streak at the Wankhede and in return break their streak.
Mumbai have some enough biggest names in their team, but their squad selections have been poor. They have three full-time wicketkeepers in (not including Ben Dunk) and are thin on batting back-ups. It was surprising to see injured Jalaj Saxena replaced by West Indies’ Lendl Simmons, a top-order batsman and part-time medium-pacer. An Indian batsman in that place would have been ideal for the side, but if they opt for Simmons, it would mean that either Ben Dunk or Corey Anderson would have to be left out.
Compare this with Kings XI who have found balance in the squad early on. Their bowling was facing trouble at the start of the tournament but on pitches that were wearing down, they stepped up and did well on the days the batting failed. Indian grounds, with their flat tracks and short boundaries, will be a different challenge for them.
There’s another level of interest to this match. Three Kings XI players – Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson and Rishi Dhawan – were on the Mumbai roster until last season.
Indian Premier League – 2014: Match 22 – Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. May 3, 2014, Start time 16:00 (Local Time), 10:30 (GMT).
Head-to-Head in T20’s:
KXIP has a better record over MI with winning 7 among the 12 games they both played.
Pitch and Weather Report:
The pitch in last season supported a bowling a bit with even spin, pace and good bounce but usually it was batting paradise. Dew factor will not come into play as it is an evening game.
MI will be looking play Simmons but it would be interesting whom they will be dropping among Ben Dunk and Corey Anderson. Sheyas Gopal might get a game with Ojha have performed upto the mark.
Mumbai Indians’ Possible Playing XI:
KXIP looking at their form need no changes to their squad. But with Pujara has done much they may look forward to replace him with local talents.
Kings XI Punjab’s Possible Playing XI: