Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Thursday, October 1st, 2020
16:00 SA Time
Hardly two weeks into the season and this IPL has already given us everything we were missing and it just keeps getting better. As we head on to the 13th game of this season, we have two brilliant teams with similar misfortunes as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) take on Mumbai Indians (MI) in what is expected to be a livewire contest. Both the teams have 1 win in their respective three games but their position on the points table hardly reflect the quality of cricket they have played so far.
KXIP have had trouble holding on to their nerves this season and they will be kicking themselves for not clinching on to the momentum as they have now ended up on the wrong side of the result in two very close encounters- against DD where they failed to score 1 run in three deliveries and recently against RR where they gave away 30 runs in the 18th over and let the game slip away.
Their batting is over-reliant on KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, both of whom have a brilliant century each to their names and are the top two leading run-getters in the orange cap race. Their middle-order hasn’t been put to test yet but it looks shaky and Punjab would hope that the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Karun Nair and Glenn Maxwell contribute to the side than they have thus far.
Their death bowling has been pretty mediocre and given the depth of Mumbai’s batting line-up, things don’t look so good for the Punjab side and they will like to address this raging issue as quickly as possible. Their spin attack, on the other hand, has been surprisingly impressive as the young Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin have complemented each other well, picking up 4 wickets each in the three matches and this will be the key as they take the field against Mumbai on Thursday.
Mumbai Indians look a very balanced side on paper and haven’t done much wrong so far, yet they have just been a tad bit unfortunate as they find themselves with just one win in the three matches they have played. They will come into the game after having lost to Bangalore in a super over but there were a lot of positives to take home even in that game, especially the way that Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard stepped up when Mumbai needed 80 off the last 4 overs and almost unbelievably got their side over the line.
Their power hitting in the slog overs was a treat to watch and was a reminder of the firepower and depth in Mumbai’s batting line-up. Kishan announced himself to the big stage in style with his imposing knock of 99 runs and it was heartbreaking to watch him miss out on his well-deserved century. Pollard was as spectacular as ever, doing what he does best, hitting the ball all around the ground and ensuring Mumbai had a fair chance to win till the very last ball. Bumrah hasn’t been at his best which is a big cause of worry for MI but Pattinson and Boult have been in magnificent form and made sure Bumrah’s form doesn’t do much harm to their side. If only MI manages to replicate their on-paper balance on the field, they will be invincible.
Injury and Availability News
Both sides have a clean bill of health at the moment.
Probable Playing XI
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Karun Nair, Jimmy Neesham, Sarfaraz Khan, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult
Key Players to watch out for
KL Rahul: The young Punjab captain has always led by example and consistently scores at the top order giving his team much needed solid starts. He has been in terrific form this season, scoring 222 runs in just 3 matches with a record-breaking knock of 132 runs under his belt and will look to carry that momentum forward. He holds the key to Punjab’s fortunes and all eyes will be on him to help Punjab register another win.
Mayank Agarwal: The second most prolific batsman after skipper KL Rahul in the KXIP batting line-up, Agarwal has had a phenomenal run this season scoring 221 runs in 3 matches at a splendid strike rate of 170, including a century to his name. His knock of 89 runs against DC almost got Punjab an improbable victory before they faltered in the final over failing to capitalise on Mayank’s heroics. He will yet again look to give Punjab a solid start along with Rahul and ensure a much needed victory for his side.
Jasprit Bumrah: Making his debut for Mumbai Indians in 2013, Jasprit Bumrah has come a long way and is currently considered India’s best bowler across all three formats. Although he has looked a little off-coloured this season picking just 3 wickets in three matches thus far, you can never write a world class bowler like Bumrah off. With his point precision bowling skills, the boy with the golden arm will be the go-to death bowler for Rohit Sharma and his toe-crushing yorkers will play an important role in registering a win for MI.
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul to be top batsman at 2.25.
Mohammad Shami to be top bowler at 2.25.
Rohit Sharma to be top batsman at 2.50.
Jasprit Bumrah to be top bowler at 2.00.