Kings XI Punjab will look to break their losing streak of three matches when they take on a rampaging Mumbai Indians in their home match at Indore on Thursday. Mumbai Indians are on a winning streak of four matches and it will take a lot more from KXIP to stop Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians overview: They have shed their age-old problems of starting poorly. This IPL, they have begun with a bang, with more self-belief in their ranks. They are at the second spot in the points table, with four wins out of five. They have won from lost situation like in the match against RCB where they were 4/7 before Kieron Pollard’s blinder saw them home. It proved that they have a lot of depth in their batting and bowling and are easily the team to beat this season along with Kolkata Knight Riders. They should target a top two finish to give them an extra chance of making it to the final.
Mumbai Indians strength: Their batting has the depth to counter any collapse. It proved to be their biggest strength during the match against RCB and KKR. Then Rohit Sharma too is back into form. A young batsman in Nitish Rana is making all the right noises. And then there is the all-round performance from the Pandya brothers. Mumbai Indians’ combination makes it a good mix of exciting talent.
Mumbai Indians weakness: Bowling is yet to live up to its expectation. Lasith Malinga is yet to come to the party. He leaked 51 runs in 4 overs in the last match against Lions. Bowlers have to take more responsibility to ease the burden of the batsmen. Once the bowlers come to the party as well, it will be difficult to stop Mumbai Indians from running away with the game.
Kings XI Punjab overview: Kings XI Punjab have no one but themselves to blame for being in the bottom half of the points table. They are at No 5 currently with 2 wins out of five. They won the first two matches and lost the next three. They lost a close match against Sunrisers with Manan Vohra cracking 95 to almost steal a win. But Sunrisers held their nerves to go past KXIP. Punjab batsmen need to take more responsibility to take the team through.
Punjab strength: Batting is their strength with the likes of Hashim Amla, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Manan Vohra in the line-up. But the lack of consistency has hurt them. Punjab’s strategy of winning the match should be bowling first, restricting Mumbai to a manageable total and then chasing it down hoping their batsmen will come to the party. MI batting is too strong to chase down any target.
Punjab weakness: Their bowling is all-Indian attack which has done well within its limitation. It lacks a quality overseas pacer or spinner to instil fear in the opposition. With a heavy batting line-up with four overseas batsmen, Punjab have to go for an all-Indian bowling attack. It lacks the penetration that a quality foreign bowler can bring.
Prediction: Mumbai Indians are favourite go the distance against KXIP as they are on a winning momentum of four matches. Mumbai batting is their biggest strength as they have the depth to overhaul any target. Punjab, after the initial two wins, have been struggling to put up a team’s effort. It will be difficult for Punjab to stop Mumbai Indians from running away with the game. But nothing is impossible in T20 cricket. Our vote goes to Mumbai Indians to continue with their winning momentum.
Possible winner: Mumbai Indians