IPL 2018, MI vs KXIP: 5 talking points
Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab played out a high-scoring thriller at the Wankhede Stadium tonight with the match going all the way down to the wire before the hosts edged out Ravichandran Ashwin's side despite a brilliant knock by KL Rahul.
Mumbai Indians had a mixed powerplay after being put into bat by the visitors, losing four wickets, but a 23-ball 50 by Kieron Pollard in his comeback match ensured that the hosts reached 186 in their 20 overs.
Kings XI looked well in control heading into the final four overs of the game, requiring 42 runs to win with nine wickets in hand, but a brilliant spell of bowling by Jasprit Bumrah ensured that Mumbai Indians won the contest by 3 runs to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Here are the 5 major talking points from tonight's match.
#5 Ravichandran Ashwin's baffling captaincy
Kings XI Punjab started off brilliantly in IPL 2018 and one of the main attractions in the way the side was operating was skipper Ravichandran Ashwin's captaincy. He looked a natural leader and the number of years of playing under MS Dhoni seemed to have instilled a calmness to the way Ashwin seemed to operate on the field.
But as the season progressed, the Kings XI have struggled and so has Ashwin - with the aggressiveness that he displayed at the start of the IPL campaign going missing.
That was the case today as well when with Mumbai Indians struggling at 71/4, Ashwin chose to bowl the likes of Marcos Stoinis and Ankit Rajpoot instead of going for the kill with himself or Andrew Tye.
This allowed the likes of Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya to free their arms and take the match away from the visitors. Ashwin had three overs left and only came into bowl in the 16th over and got Pollard's wicket right away which makes his initial decision all the more hard to digest.
The Kings XI side needed Ashwin to lead from the front but that didn't quite happen tonight.