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MI vs KXIP Match Prediction: Who Will Win today's match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2017, Match 22

Sportskeeda's match prediction for match 22 of IPL 2017 to be played between the Mumbai Indians and the Kings XI Punjab in Indore.

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If Malinga remains fit, he could be a vital cog in the Mumbai Indians’ bowling attack

Having won their first two games of the season, the Kings XI Punjab were, for a brief period of time, the only undefeated team of the IPL, before a hat-trick of losses gave their campaign a major setback. Hence it becomes all the more difficult for them to beat the Mumbai Indians, who, after having lost their opening game of the season, have been on a winning streak, winning their next four encounters.

Faltering Kings XI

What complicated the Kings XI's problems is the instability and inconsistency of their batting order, as their marquee overseas buys – namely David Miller, Eoin Morgan and the captain Glenn Maxwell – haven't been able to play to their full potential so far.

The only ray of hope as far as Punjab are concerned, and even that came to the fore only in the last game, has been the resurgence of the 23-year-old Manan Vohra, who almost won them the game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad single-handedly.

Vohra's innings of 95 off 50 studded with 9 fours and 5 sixes could arguably be called the innings of the IPL so far, given the circumstances under which it was played. However, it is not the personal milestones that win you the game. Rather, it is the team effort that does, and that is where they have been found wanting.

Hashim Amla hasn't fired at the top of the order and their mystery spinner KC Cariappa has been devoid of any mystery so far. Even the experienced IPL campaigners like Mohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma haven't been able to provide the team breakthroughs at crucial junctures.

Hence, it is no surprise that the Kings XI have been able to take only 20 out of the 50 wickets in five games so far.

Rampaging Mumbai Indians

Compare this to the way Mumbai Indians have been playing this season, who have perhaps surprised themselves by winning their first few games, and you'd find that this could very well be a one-sided contest if one is to base his prediction purely on current form. 

Nitish Rana and Kieron Pollard have been absolute revelations for the Indians this season and have played several match-winning innings for the team. The move to make Rohit Sharma bat in the middle order hadn't worked for the first few games, but in the last game, the two-time IPL-winning captain proved his worth and guided his team home. 

Add to this the consistency with which Lasith Malinga has bowled this season, making lives difficult for batsmen at the top and the lower middle order alike and you'd realize that the Kings XI's problems would only multiply.

The Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal – have been no less impactful as well, with Hardik getting quick runs lower down the order and Krunal being the partnership breaker.

Harbhajan Singh wasn't in the first XI this IPL, but since his return to the side has bowled beautifully, thereby restricting the flow of runs as well as picking up wickets to further hamper the opposition's run-scoring capability. Jos Buttler is yet to fire at the top but one would reckon that it will happen sooner or later.

All in all, Mumbai looks to be the side to beat this season and it will be an uphill task for their opponents to do so tonight, despite having the advantage of the adopted home venue, which is the Holkar Stadium, Indore.

Prediction

All four games that Mumbai have won this season have been won while chasing targets, and they have lost the only game in which they have defended. So if there is probability even though the sample size is too small to say so, it can be said that the Kings XI would love to bowl first if they win the toss.

Chasing has been Mumbai's forte and they have pulled out some dramatic ones – the Rohit Sharma-inspired 177 against the Lions, the Pollard-led 145 against the Royal Challengers amongst others – and they would look to do the same this game as well.

Hence, if Mumbai Indians chase, they should come out as the winners in this game. 

For the Kings XI, though, it has been a mixed bag. While they won their first two games chasing a target, they have lost their last two games while chasing and have lost another one while defending. For them, they'll hope that batting line-up fires so that they could give their bowlers something to bowl at.

The Kings XI are yet to register a score in excess of 180 this season, and for them to do that their marquee overseas players such as Amla, Miller, Morgan and Maxwell have to fire. Punjab would hope that these players do just that tonight.

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