May 21 (): Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) face Mumbai Indians (MI) at their home ground in Mohali, looking to win their return game after losing the first in Mumbai.
The gap between the teams on the points table is huge – with KXIP heading the table with 18 points with only 2 losses. MI are at 7th place with only 10 points , but they will be confident on beating KXIP as they are one of the 2 teams which has defeated KXIP in IPL 7.
Three important changes have happened in the teams since they last met. Vohra from KXIP who was in the benches for the first 9 games, has made a name for himself in the 2 matches he has played scoring 89 runs off only 39 balls, at a strike rate of 228 which is higher than Maxwell. Also for Mumbai, their wrecker in chief Malinga is not available for the rest of the season due to national duty while Hussey has made a comeback to the team with a well-made 50 the other day.
MI will be hoping that Hussey will be able to carry forward his form for the remaining matches while players like Pollard, Rayudu and Rohit Sharma perform collectively. It is to be seen how Harbhajan performs without having Malinga bowling his Yorkers at the other end.
For KXIP, 5 of their batsmen have a higher strike rate than Pollard’s 130 – the highest strike rate of Mumbai. With all batsmen showing their aggression, chances of quick wickets, as happened against Delhi, cannot be ruled out and it is for the team’s think tank to have one of the batsmen play a supporting role and hold one end up.
Dropping Johnson in the previous game was a bold decision and it is to be seen if Bailey will want to bring him back against MI as seeing an Australian bowler can pump up Pollard and make him commit an error.
While KXIP will look to extend its lead on the top , MI will be going full steam to win as a loss today will end their hopes of qualifying for the play offs.