The primary reason for that is his match-winning 80 off 54 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on September 23.
Unfortunately, the match against KKR is the only one MI have won so far in this season, thus highlighting the importance of Rohit Sharma in their line-up. After getting dismissed for a measly 8-ball 8 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday, Rohit would be looking to hit top gear and get his side back to winning ways soon.
The perfect opportunity awaits with MI clashing against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) tonight at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Considering the form KXIP openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are in, and the sluggish nature of the pitch, Rohit Sharma would look to get MI off to a flying start.
Rohit Sharma’s numbers against KXIP
Rohit Sharma is the second-highest run-scorer in this fixture with an aggregate of 344 runs in 17 matches. Kieron Pollard leads the table with 417 runs under his belt. But, Rohit surpasses Pollard if we take into account his three years (2008 to 2010) spent with the now-defunct Deccan Chargers.
Rohit amassed 246 runs off 150 balls in six DC vs KXIP fixtures, thus taking his overall tally against the Punjab-based franchise to 590 runs off 417 deliveries, with an unbeaten 39-ball 79 in IPL 2013 his best show so far.
Rohit Sharma has faced off against KXIP 23 times since the inception of the IPL in 2008 and has ended on the winning side on 11 occasions. He has remained not out four times, with three of those knocks having come in winning causes. Rohit Sharma scored 76 not out off just 42 deliveries in his first-ever match against KXIP in 2008, which DC eventually lost.
The right-hander has been caught out in 10 of the 23 matches he has played against KXIP, while he has been castled on four occasions. Talking about being a ‘bunny’, he has been accounted twice each by fast bowlers Parvinder Awana and Sandeep Sharma.
While Awana accounted for him in both matches of IPL 2012, Sandeep dismissed Rohit Sharma for a duck once in the 2015 season and the other time during the 2016 edition of the IPL.
Notably, though, none of them will get a chance to bowl at him tonight. Awana is not a part of the IPL anymore and the latter plays for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Quite remarkably, Rohit Sharma has fallen prey to a KXIP spinner just four times.
However, KXIP have proved to be a bogey side for Rohit Sharma in the last four IPL editions. In seven matches, the Indian vice-captain has only managed 82 runs off 76 balls, with his highest score of 32 coming in IPL 2019.
Rohit Sharma would look to get the monkey off his back, get back amongst the runs and guide MI to the top of the IPL 2020 points table tonight.Published 01 Oct 2020, 12:49 IST