Kings XI Punjab host Mumbai Indians at Indore to get back to winning ways in IPL after three straight defeats.
KXIP began the tournament with two wins before losing their next three fixtures. In their most recent outing, they were one stroke away from a win when they were bowled out; against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they got to 154 in pursuit of a target of 160. They are back on home turf, and will take plenty of confidence knowing they are unbeaten in home territory.
The Mumbai Indians started the season with a defeat to Rising Pune Supergiant. Since then, they have stitched together four consecutive wins – each one of the coming in run-chases. They are enjoying their best start to an IPL season. Having played three matches in five days – which included an away match in Bengaluru; MI must have looked forward to the three-day break they have enjoyed post the win against the Gujarat Lions. The team will be fresh and looking to extend their winning streak.
Home Advantage for Kings
A prime reason for the results going in KXIP’s favour in the previous two matches at the Holkar Stadium was that they were batting second. With the track having some moisture in the first innings and drying up in the second; they got to bat on a flat wicket; while their opposition had to find a way to score on a two-paced track. How they will fare if they come out to bat first remains a question.
In challenging conditions, no one apart from Hashim Amla has been consistent. The South African opener, too, has found the going get tough after the powerplay overs. Glenn Maxwell began the campaign on a good note, but has lost that touch in the last couple of games. With Eoin Morgan, David Miller and Marcus Stoinis yet to set the stage on fire; their batting remains a major cause of concern.
Kings Bowling Inconsistency
On the bowling front, Kings have done a few experiments, but Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma remain their best bet. They have troubled the top order with swing, but don’t have the kind of figures to reflect on their performance. With Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron failing to deliver consistently; it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get T Natarajan back into the side.
As for Mumbai Indians, everything is falling into place for them. The youngsters – Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana and Jasprit Bumrah have come good; so have the experienced players – Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga. The tournament began poorly for Rohit Sharma and Mitchell McClenaghan, but they too have found their mojo.
Head to Head :
Matches – 18
Kings XI Punjab – 9, Mumbai Indians – 9
Probable Playing XI:
KXIP – Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra, Eoin Morgan, Glenn Maxwell (c), Gurkeerat Singh, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Ishant Sharma
MI – Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah