The Holkar Stadium in Indore will play host to the clash between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians. While the Kings have had a mixed season with 2 good wins followed by 3 straight losses, the Mumbai Indians have bounced back after an initial hiccup to win 4 games on the trot. They would like to keep their unbeaten streak intact. The Kings XI would take heart from the fact that they have won both their matches at this stadium this season. The Kings take on the Paltan as the race for the playoff spots heats up!
The track is expected to help both batsmen and bowlers. It should be an exciting contest between bat and ball. Both the games here have been relatively low-scoring ones with scores ranging between 148 and 164. Another trend on this ground is of teams chasing notching up easy wins. The pacers and spinners would hope for some purchase off this pitch. Expect the chaser to win here.
MUMBAI INDIANS – STRENGTHS
The Mumbai Indians have been traditionally slow starters but not this time. They are on a roll and how! Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel have looked good at the top of the order. The middle order looks settled with Nitish Rana, Krunal Pandya, Kierron Pollard and Hardik Pandya all looking to be in sublime touch. Rana also held the Orange Cap for a while. Mitch McClenaghan and Harbhajan Singh have looked dangerous as far as bowling is concerned.
MUMBAI INDIANS – CONCERNS
Rohit Sharma scored a quick 40 off 29 in the last match but he needs to do much more than that as he is the most prolific batsman of the team. The Indians need to sort out their bowling woes as in spite of wins, their pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga have collectively leaked 96 runs in 8 overs with only 1 wicket which is completely unsatisfactory. These 2 are their lead bowlers and they need to get back to form as soon as possible. Replacing Malinga with Johnson or Southee may be the need of the hour.
KINGS XI PUNJAB – STRENGTHS
The Kings XI Punjab came very close to victory when Manan Vohra scored an unbelievable single-handed knock of 95 off 50 balls. Along with Vohra, Hashim Amla has been in decent touch this year. The middle order boasts of big names like skipper Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Eoin Morgan if he plays. However, they need to play responsibly and guide the team home. Axar Patel has been very good with both bat and ball and would need to be consistent in his approach. In the bowling department, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma have been impressive and are expected to deliver the goods once again tonight.
KINGS XI PUNJAB – CONCERNS
The Kings would lose their sleep over Wriddhiman Saha’s lack of form and the inability of the middle order to stand up inspite of drafting in the experienced Englishman Eoin Morgan. Morgan might have to make way for Darren Sammy sooner rather than later as Sammy would also provide a bowling option to his skipper. The spin department is weak with Axar alone managing the front. Cariappa has not been too impressive and has been leaking runs without picking up many wickets. They need to sort out these issues before they take on the formidable MI.
MI – Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma, Nitish Rana, Kierron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitch McClenaghan, Tim Southee/Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.
KXIP – Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Axar Patel, Darren Sammy, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Swapnil Singh.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Played – 18, MI won – 9, KXIP won – 9
CONCLUSION AND MATCH PREDICTION
Mumbai would like to move atop the table with a win tonight while KXIP would attempt a revival of fortunes. The toss will be crucial and the chasers would back themselves to get the required runs. Maxwell and co. need to buck up and play out of their skins to defeat the in-form Mumbai Indians. They would be confident as they won both their matches at Indore. On the other hand, Mumbai need to keep it simple and grab another 2 points. Here’s our prediction for the clash of North and West.
TOSS – MI wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 160-170
MATCH – MI win by 5-7 wickets.
TOSS – KXIP wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 170-180
MATCH – KXIP win by 4-6 wickets.