IPL 2019, MI vs KXIP: How the teams stack up before the big clash
As the 12th season of the Indian Premier League has entered its 3rd week, Mumbai Indians are all set to host the Kings XI Punjab in the first return fixture of the season tonight at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
The previous encounter between the two sides witnessed some high-quality ball striking from batsmen of both teams as KXIP chased down the 177 runs target set by MI with relative ease.
Interestingly, both teams are heading into this fixture high on confidence after beating the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their respective matches, albeit, in different manners.
Mumbai Indians, on one hand, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat where a certain debutant named Alzarri Joseph delivered the best bowling figures of the tournament to skittle the Hyderabad-based side to their lowest total in the IPL history.
Kings XI Punjab, on the contrary, almost messed up their consecutive smooth run chase before KL Rahul held his nerve to take his team over the line.
Lasith Malinga has returned to the MI squad, however, the dream performance by Joseph in all likelihood will keep the veteran Sri Lankan out of the playing XI.
Also, Rohit Sharma got a small injury scare on the eve of the match. However, he is expected to be fit for the match and lead his team from the front.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab have been quite unpredictable in terms of their team combination, and no one can predict what skipper Ravichandran Ashwin might pull out of his hat.
However, there are no injury concerns for the Punjab-based side. The only concern the team will look to address will be the timing of their acceleration while batting as it has already cost them 2 vital points.
From the outside, one might be pardoned to believe that the three-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians might be having a lop-sided head-to-head record in their favour against one out of the only 3 teams who are yet to win the trophy.
However, the perennial underachievers have been hard to beat for one of the most star-studded sides as the record suggests. Also, Wankhede has been a fortress for the Mumbai Indians which the Kings XI Punjab know how to breach.
Overall: Matches – 23, Mumbai Indians – 12, Kings XI Punjab –11.
At the Wankhede Stadium: Matches – 8, Mumbai Indians – 4, Kings XI Punjab – 4.
Both sides are coming into this match on a winning note and thus, any changes in the playing XI are highly unlikely. Ishan Kishan will be given a decent run after replacing Yuvraj Singh in the last match.
Punjab, on the other hand, in all likelihood will play the same XI. However, given the high scoring nature of the venue, the KXIP think-tank might look to either play Moises Henriques in place of David Miller or Murugan Ashwin in place of Sarfaraz Khan to have an extra bowling option.
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Joseph, Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendorff
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (WK), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller/Moises Henriques, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Sarfaraz Khan/ Murugan Ashwin, R Ashwin (C), Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahaman, Ankit Rajpoot
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Published 10 Apr 2019, 14:09 IST