While MI have stuck to their strengths and made winning a habit this season, KXIP have somehow found a way to lose matches in which they should have crossed the line comfortably.
One might take a glance at the IPL 2020 Orange Cap list and see the duo of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal occupying the top two positions, but their form hasn't translated into positive results for Punjab.
KXIP, though, will take heart with the way they out-batted the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous encounter, with Chris Gayle's half-century in his first game this season being a potential sign of things to come.
However, against a dominating MI bowling unit shepherded by Jasprit Bumrah, the KXIP batsmen will undoubtedly face a stern test. Faced with a must-win situation in the rest of their league stage encounters, KXIP will need to bring out more than just their A-game to come out victorious in today's Mumbai v Punjab clash.
IPL 2020: MI v KXIP Match Prediction
There's not much that has gone right for KXIP since the start of the tournament, barring their only two wins so far, which have incidentally come against RCB. Gayle's addition to the batting unit does give the side a formidable look now, and with the Jamaican finding his feet early in the competition, KXIP will be a happy bunch.
However, their opponents for today, MI, have five wins in a row and are looking absolutely unstoppable. MI will also have a mental advantage going into this clash, having beaten KXIP by a 48-run margin in the earlier meeting between these two sides in IPL 2020.
As for KXIP, apart from the middle-order woes, the constant chopping and changing has not worked well for them. Mohammed Shami's recent returns - five wickets in five matches - has marred their campaign to a certain extent, with Rahul needing to depend on the other relatively inexperienced bowlers for breakthroughs.
Murugan Ashwin was in fine touch against RCB, and Ravi Bishnoi has impressed in his debut season with 8 wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 8.03 RPO.
Against the MI batsmen though, specifically against Keiron Pollard and Hardik Pandya who have enjoyed sending the spinners on a leather hunt, the inexperience might just come to the fore.
And as for KXIP's in-form top-order, they might face the uphill task of needing to play out the new ball and shield the misfiring middle-order from the MI bowling unit.
All in all, against a red-hot MI unit, the pressure of the situation that KXIP find themselves in might just prove to be their undoing, unless they find a way to get their ducks in a row well before they step onto the ground.
Prediction: MI to win today.Published 18 Oct 2020, 13:12 IST