Venue – : Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore Date & Time: May 04, 08:00 PM LOCAL
A week’s break is a luxury for teams in the Indian Premier League, and Kings XI Punjab are coming out of just that as the rejuvenated side will look to get back to their dominating ways that was on display earlier in the tournament. When they last played on April 26, Kings XI suffered only their second reversal of the competition after which they dropped down to the third spot. Despite their time away from cricket, they are still inside the top four on the points table, although a few teams have made steady progress ever since. KXIP will be eager to re-establish their status as one of the top teams in IPL 2018, and the first step in that endeavour will be against a jaded Mumbai Indians side, for whom the clock is ticking.
KXIP’s inability to chase down a target of 133 against expert-defenders Sunrisers Hyderabad was because of a below-par performance of the middle order. While KL Rahul and Chris Gayle yet again gave the team a good start, the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch and Manoj Tiwary had disappointing outings that caused a major collapse. Whether the loss was a lesson well learnt remains to be seen, but KXIP will be pleased with the fact that their next two games are both at home at a venue that is ideal for their flamboyant batsmen.
On the other hand, their bowlers – notwithstanding their good performances in their previous games – might feel some pressure considering the batting-friendly tracks that have been the norm in Indore and the short boundaries. This will be another captaincy test for the shrewd R Ashwin, who has marshalled his resources well thus far.
For Mumbai Indians, rooted to the bottom of the table with only two wins from eight games, time is ripe for them to pick themselves up like they have in the past. In 2014, they were in a similar position – only four points from their first eight matches – but they managed script a dramatic turnaround to finish fourth on the points table with 14 points and eventually clinched the title. But for them to mirror those efforts, MI have to first address some issues, mainly with their batting.
Rohit Sharma has been blowing hot and cold, Ishan Kishan hasn’t been able to extend the good form he showcased earlier in the season and the middle order hasn’t delivered too. This has put pressure on Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav to provide good starts at the top and while the latter has been consistent, MI’s batting overall hasn’t been, and that has put them in a precarious position. Despite their bowlers doing a decent job in their last few matches, the batting has been a major let down and the defending champions will be hoping to rectify that quickly in a bid to keep their title aspirations alive.
When: Friday, May 4 at 8:00 PM IST
Where: Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
What to expect: Only a few months back Rohit had registered the joint-fastest T20I hundred at this venue, while Rahul came close to a brisk hundred. In the previous season, MI had chased down 199 with nearly five overs to spare while KXIP completed comfortable chases in the other matches here. Be it batting first or second, big scores have been the trend in Indore and is likely to be the case during this IPL as well.
Kings XI Punjab: Barinder Sran has been expensive in his last few outings and KXIP might consider bringing back Mohit Sharma for the left-arm pacer. They could also look at strengthening the middle order by including David Miller in place of Finch, who has had a poor IPL so far.
Probable XI: KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, David Miller, R Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis’s fitness status is still unknown although Aditya Tare stated that “he had an injection and he should be fine.” If the West Indian has made sufficient recovery from his wrist injury ahead of the game, he is likely to come back into the eleven at the expense of Kieron Pollard, who has looked off colour in this IPL.
Probable XI: Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis/Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma, JP Duminy, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Markande.
Head to Head
KXIP 10 – 10 MI
Team Record in Indore
The sides met each other once before in Indore in 2017 when MI chased down the target of 199 in just 15.3 overs.
Yuvraj vs MI: Among the sides participating this season, Yuvraj’s record against MI is the worst for him against an opponent. His average of 15.24 & SR of 110.68 is the lowest for him against an opponent against whom he played at least ten innings in IPL.
Pollard vs Mohit: Mohit has dismissed the Trinidadian thrice in 34 balls conceding just 37 runs. Pollard has hit only three boundaries off Mohit. Mohit has taken 22 wickets in 14 matches against MI at an average of 20.14, SR of 13.95 and ER of 8.66.
Rohit vs Ashwin: Rohit has scored only 46 runs from the 47 deliveries he faced from Ashwin getting out once in the exchange.
The average scoring rate in the three matches in Indore in 2017 was 9.38 – the highest for any venue last season. A six was hit off every 10.90 balls in Indore, nearly six fewer than any other venue last season.
IPL 2018 trends
KXIP and MI are the worst sides when it comes to death-over batting in IPL – with scoring rates of 8.44 and 8.47 respectively.
MI have taken the most wickets in this season – 58 – and their average of 22.48 is bettered only by SRH’s 19.84. MI take a wicket every 16.36 balls which is the best among the eight sides in the competition.
KXIP are easily the best batting side in the first six overs with a scoring rate of 9.88 coupled with an average of 59.29. The have the best balls per boundary ratio of 3.41 in this phase. The seven wicket lost by them is also the fewest in Powerplays.
KL Rahul has scored the most runs in the first six overs – 208 – at a SR of 185.71 while Chris Gayle is fourth in the list of SR with 162.34 (minimum 30 runs).
What they said:
“It’s important to be able to recharge throughout the tournament. I think we played four games in nine days leading up to the seven-day break and now we going again for a lot of quick games – I think five games in about 12 days. It’s good to get momentum in the tournament but you also need to refresh at some stage and I think it (break) came at a good time” – Aaron Finch, about the team’s time away from cricket.
“It’s T20 format – every team is strong and the strongest of the teams can lose sometimes. The format of the game is such that the result really depends on how you play that particular day. If you falter in any one aspect of the game you’ll most likely end up on the losing side. But we have been in this situation before and we’ve bounced back. That gives us some confidence going into this stage of the tournament” – Aditya Tare is confident of a strong MI comeback.