Mumbai Indians (MI) will host Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 50th match of the Indian Premier League during the ongoing edition of 2018.
The defending champions are hoping to make it to the playoffs that not only relies on the performance of their own players but they also need favours from other teams. Nonetheless, they would like to keep themselves in contention for the final four.
On the other hand, Kings XI has let themselves down. Men in Red were in the commanding position to make their way into playoffs and they are slipping in the last lap of the race.
Punjab is let down by their batting display and they are reliant on the shoulders of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. Thus the middle order needs to step up their game.
Meanwhile, narrow losses at the beginning of the tournament are now hurting the reigning champions. A poor start to the tournament has given them a lot to catch up later. Thus, they are lagging behind in the playoffs race.
However, there are some positives for the Rohit Sharma-led side. Mayank Markande has come off age whereas, Suryakumar Yadav has impressed while batting in the top order.
On the other hand, it is frustrating to be in the shoes of Ravichandran Ashwin. Punjab have gone from the top two position to the number fifth position. Thus they have played with fire for the playoff position. However, they have themselves to blame for getting themselves into troubled waters.
Nonetheless, it is still not late to get their act together. Moreover, they have their destiny in their own hands, unlike Indians.
Consequently, they would qualify for the playoffs if they win their remaining two fixtures.
Hence, Ravichandran Ashwin would want more from his middle order which has let the team down.
Furthermore, the tourists will also be sweating over the fitness of their talismanic spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The Afghanistan mystery spinner had suffered a finger injury against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Thus, he had to miss out against RCB. KXIP think tank will hope that Mujeeb comes back into their final XI to strengthen their bowling battery.
Wankhede Pitch is always expected to be a run-fest. However, in this season the pitch has shown different colours. The captain winning the toss will try to bat first because of the dew factor.
Mumbai temperature is going to stay around 32-degree Celsius. However, the high humidity of 77 percent is going to greet the players. There is no forecast of rain gods playing a killjoy.
It is almost an even contest if we take into account the head-to-head battle. Punjab have won 10 matches while Mumbai won 11 matches.
However, the visitors have won four matches whereas the hosts have won three at Wankhede.
Mumbai Indians Predicted XI: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah.
Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI: Lokesh Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Marcus Stoinis Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.