PBKS have suffered three comprehensive defeats following the narrow win in their tournament opener. Meanwhile, MI have won two out of their four games and are coming off a loss to the Delhi Capitals (DC) in which the defending champions' middle-order came unstuck against the trickery and guile of leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
PBKS' bowlers have had an ordinary outing, but it's their inconsistent performances with the bat that have compounded their woes. While captain KL Rahul is expected to be aggressive and anchor the innings, at the same time, the fact remains that his dismissals tend to leave the team exposed.
Considering their propensity to chop and change, it won't be a surprise if Dawid Malan makes the playing XI for this game, as his presence could allow Rahul to play with a bit more freedom at the top. While PBKS will look to adapt to the conditions at the Chepauk better, they'll also look to exploit MI middle order's struggles at this venue.
Meanwhile, MI would look to bounce back from their loss to the Capitals. They thrive in pressure situations and will back themselves to beat a floundering PBKS team, considering their experience playing at the IPL venue.
The reigning champions would want Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma, two players who haven't been affected much by the slowness of the track, to deliver the goods against PBKS.
Interestingly, both teams have batted first in all four games they have played this season, so it'll be interesting to see how either team fares in a chase. While MI undoubtedly enter the game as the favourites, PBKS are more than capable of springing a surprise.
The slow bowlers should extract good turn, so another low-scoring contest can be expected.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs MI Match Details
Date: 23rd April 2021 (Friday).
Time: 7:30 PM IST.
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
It should be a warm and clear evening in Chennai, with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. Dew should play a role in the second innings.
The wicket at the Chepauk has seen a lot of action in a short span of time and could be dry and worn out. The ball should turn well, so another low-scoring contest can be expected.
PBKS could consider bringing in the top-ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan into their XI.
He could shore up their top order and allow Rahul to tee off in the powerplay. The impressive Ravi Bishnoi could come in as well. Jhye Richardson, with his vast repertoire of cutters and variations, has a case to return to the XI, although Moises Henriques is likely to get another opportunity.
PBKS: KL Rahul (C/WK), Mayank Agarwal, Dawid Malan/ Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques/ Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Murugan Ashwin/ Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh.
MI should stick with the same playing XI for this game and execute their plans better against PBKS. Jayant Yadav put in a solid shift against DC and will look to get the better of the likes of Gayle in this match.
MI: Quinton De Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile/ Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs MI Match Prediction
MI will fancy their chances of closing out the Chennai leg of their campaign with a win. PBKS could continue to struggle with the slowness of the surface, as they look fragile with the bat. While they'll look to put up a good fight, MI might prove too strong for them.
Prediction: MI to win.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs MI TV and Live Streaming Details
TV: Star Sports Network.
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP.