The Mumbai Indians are back to their best after beating a formidable CSK and SRH side in back to back games. But their route in the campaign isn't proving to be easy as they set forth to face an in-form Kings XI Punjab team.
KXIP are currently sitting on the third spot with 8 points, but MI still have a game in hand as they look to go higher up the table with a positive net run rate.
The two quality sides will clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. Mumbai Indians are leading on the head to head count with 12 wins over Punjab's 11 in 23 games.
Mumbai Indians (MI)
The three-time champions had started off their season with two early losses which saw them on the wrong end of the points table. But their comprehensive wins against Chennai and Hyderabad has shifted the momentum towards their favor.
Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock are proving to be inconsistent with the bat. But Suryakumar Yadav along with Krunal Pandya have managed to play the sheet anchor role on quite a few occasions at number four and five.
When it comes to striking big blows towards the final few overs, Hardik Pandya has unleashed his true potential by smashing sixes left right and center. Kieron Pollard also seems to have got back to his routine as he played vital cameos with the willow in his last two appearances.
MI's bowling has impressed the most with newcomer Alzarri Joseph ripping into Hyderabad's batting lineup as he scalped 6 wickets for just 11 runs while also making it the best IPL figures in history.
Rahul Chahar was equally impressive with his wrist spin while Jason Behrendorff's left arm pace has also been a problem for batsmen. Jasprit Bumrah does his usual duties by bowling a tight line and length as Mumbai's bowling unit look like a well-oiled machine.
If a change needs to be made, MI can bring in Windies' Evin Lewis in place of Quinton de Kock while Ishan Kishan will be given the task of keeping from behind the stumps.
The Kings XI side has established a fortress at Mohali by winning seven consecutive games. It's their struggles away from home which needs to be taken into consideration.
On a hard Wankhede wicket which is likely to assist the batsman, Punjab will want Chris Gayle to start firing again after failing against Chennai and Hyderabad. KL Rahul seems to have struck the right form at the right time and is being assisted by Mayank Agarwal and Sarfaraz Khan who are proving to be real assets with the bat.
David Miller hasn't quite stamped his authority yet but can prove to be deadly on his day. KXIP's real strength this season has been their ability to pick wickets at regular intervals.
Ravichandran Aswhin being the aggressive captain often brings up himself or Mujeeb Ur Rahman to bowl the first over of the innings. Murugan Ashwin's wrist spin in the middle overs adds further pressure, while Sam Curran and Mohammad Shami's pace bowling in tandem proves to be quite effective as well.
For Punjab to win against Mumbai they have to function more as a team and not rely much on individual brilliance.
Probable XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin
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Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.