While a win for Mumbai Indians will virtually seal the play-offs berth for them, a loss for Kings XI Punjab will see their ambitions disappear on the horizon.
To describe the unconquerable Mumbai Indians’ run as “dominating” this year would be an understatement. The Rohit Sharma-led unit has been crushing every opponent that has come in its way and they are marching towards the Dubai International Stadium, to meet the laggards Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the evening game of the second Super-Sunday in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.
With six wins in eight games hitherto, the Indians have looked formidable. Five of those six have come for them in as many of their last games. In this encounter, they are entering after pummeling their favorite opponents Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), for a record 21st time in the history of the league. Chasing a simple target given by Eoin Morgan’s charges, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock took on the bowlers with all their might before a brisk cameo from Hardik Pandya made them hunt the required 149 runs in merely 16.5 overs.
KXIP’s campaign, on the other hand, has been exactly contrasting to their opponents in this game, and they are placed right at the bottom of the table with two wins in eight games. Bolstered by the addition of Chris Gayle in their ranks, Kings XI were able to snap a five-loss streak against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their last game. Some baffling decisions by the opponent skipper to help their case aside, all three in KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Gayle did well to chase 172 runs by the last ball of the innings.
Needing only 11 runs from 18 balls, KXIP almost did another “KXIP” as they brought themselves to another heart-in-the-mouth finish, although Nicholas Pooran’s smoking six off the last ball sealed the deal for his team to keep their hopes alive. While a win for Mumbai Indians will virtually seal the play-offs berth for them, a loss for KXIP will see their ambitions disappear on the horizon.
Pitch and conditions
Although the pacers have enjoyed bowling at this venue, the spinners will be more crucial in the game as the track has slowed down considerably in the last few games. The batsmen have not been able to get into their rhythm straight up, although biding their time in the middle before accelerating has been a workable ploy. Dew could play a part in the second half of the game, nevertheless, both teams would want to bat first on winning the toss considering the record of the games played at Dubai.
Playing combination for MI vs KXIP
Mumbai Indians Probable 11
The top-order for the Mumbai Indians has been having a dream run with as captain Rohit Sharma (251 runs) and partner Quinton de Kock (269), and both are in sublime touch, whereas the likes of Suryakumar Yadav (243 runs) and Ishan Kishan (186 runs) have been playing a mature and responsible role in the middle-order.
Pandya brothers have stepped up and contributed through their late bursting cameos and Kieron Pollard has shown his all-rounder abilities. The envious trio of James Pattinson, Trent Boult, and Jasprit Bumrah has been bowling with utter consistency and has made the life of the opponent batsmen difficult with their furious pace. There is no good reason for MI to make any change, apart from a forced change, in such a lethal winning combination.
Probable 11- Quinton de Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Kings XI Punjab Probable 11
The Kings have not been able to carry themselves ahead, the way they would have liked despite their opening combination outperforming all others in the tournament. The addition of Chris Gayle did change their fortune, and the Universe Boss responded immediately with a half-century on return.
The constant chopping and changing – KXIP have played 20 players this season – in the order have not boded well for the side, and the biggest concern has been the inconsistency of Glenn Maxwell. Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi have managed to make an impact with the ball, whereas Mohammed Shami has brought all his experience into play. However, the lack of support from the other pacers has put him under pressure.
Probable 11- KL Rahul (C & WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh.
MI vs KXIP Head to Head
Played- 25 | MI won- 14 | KXIP won- 11 | NR- 0
Match Timings- 7:30 PM (IST), 6:00 PM (Local).
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