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IPL 2020: CAN KXIP & MI RECOVER FROM HEARTBREAK?

If the KXIP openers’ rich vein of form continues, the MI batting lineup will have to hope for another whirlwind innings from one of their stars.

KXIP-vs-MI-2020

Does anyone need to be reminded of the last game between these two teams? KL Rahul scored his maiden IPL century in that game, but what it is remembered for is Kieron Pollard’s whirlwind 83 oFf just 31 balls to take his team home on last ball of the match! A match for the ages.

Kings XI Punjab come into this game wondering whether they’re peaking too early. All champion teams get better as the season progress, but Punjab seems to be at, or near, its peak performance. If the opening combo is sent back to the pavilion cheaply, it will be curious to see how the rest of their batting will hold up.

ALSO READ: HOW MUCH MORE CAN THE HEART TAKE?

Mumbai Indians should have no delusions about their performance in the last game. Other than Ishan Kishan and Pollard’s record breaking innings, the team was thoroughly outplayed by Bangalore in all three departments. With many teams looking strong and settled this year, the defending champions need to buck up lest they risk falling behind in the race to the playoffs.

Both teams are coming off painfully close losses. The coaches and support staff would have spent considerable amount of time to ensure that both teams do not carry that baggage while walking on to the field today.

TALKING POINTS

Can KXIP’s opening pair continue their red-hot form?

The Rahul and Mayank Agarwal opening pair has shades of the Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan combo for the Indian team. Between Sharma, Dhawan, and Virat Kohli they bat so much every game that the middle order Is bereft of chances to spend much time in the middle. The way Punjab’s opening duo are going, their middle-order could well be untested until there is a top order collapse in an important match.

Will the real Jasprit Bumrah stand up?

After being in lockdown for most of this year, plus the injury layoff before that, expectations on any other bowler would be lower. Jasprit Bumrah, however, is not any other bowler. His lack of attempted yorkers is extremely concerning for Mumbai, although he did deliver five good balls out of six in the super over, apart from the bouncer that AB de Villiers top edged for a four. The sheer confidence that made him the most dangerous bowler in the world is missing, and although three games might seem a tad early to be concerned, over 20% of the tournament is done.

LIKELY TEAMS

KXIP probable playing 11: 1 KL Rahul (capt/wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Karun Nair, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 Jimmy Neesham, 8 Murugan Ashwin, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 Ravi Bishnoi

MI probable playing 11: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Ishan Kishan, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 James Pattinson, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Jasprit Bumrah 

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

Games played – 24

KXIP win – 11

MI win – 13

IPL 2019 results 

Game 1 – KXIP won by eight wickets

Game 2 – MI won by three wickets

PREDICTION

Mumbai generally have the habit of playing up or down to the perceived level of the opposition with phenomenal records against CSK, RCB, and KKR but even head to head against Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi – three teams who don’t really set the stage alight in most years. If Rahul and/or Mayank’s rich vein of form continues, this mostly misfiring MI batting lineup will have to hope for another whirlwind innings from one of their batters.

Written by Suhas G Pai

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