Preview: Two-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will look to continue their sublime run when they take on struggling Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Thursday.
Sitting at the second spot with four wins in five matches, Mumbai seemed superior on the current form and paper as in contrast, Punjab have lost their last three matches in the league.
The only concern that will bother Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai is their top-order, which has drastically failed to give the good starts in the cash-rich tournament so far.
Rohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell, captain of Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab respectively. Sportzpics
Howver, Mumbai's middle-order batsmen, especially Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya, have been in their prime form.
Skipper Rohit Sharma, who scored an unbeaten 40 runs against Gujarat Lions in the last match, also showed signs to returning into his form that might cause some concern to Punjab.
The bowling department also seemed balanced as Mumbai have a bunch of experienced bowlers in their line-up.
Veteran pacer Harbhajan Singh has been fantastic in the first six overs, while Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah have been consistent in the death overs.
Mitchell McClenaghan has provided the breakthrough's at the crucial moments. In the last match, the 30-year-old returned with 2/24 in his four overs.
On the other hand, Punjab started the ongoing edition on a positive note but then three back-to-back losses could affect the players mentality.
In the batting department, Punjab have some swashbuckling batsmen like skipper Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Eoin Morgan. They also have experience with the likes of Hashim Amla and Wriddhiman Saha, who can change the complexion of the game at any given point.
But all these players failed to click in the last three matches which resulted in Punjab's defeats.
But the good thing they can take to in the upcoming tie is Manan Vohra's plundering 95 off 50 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), which might force the other senior players to shoulder their responsibilities.
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The bowling department which comprised of medium pacer Mohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Axar Patel, also failed to click in unison and thus failed in restricting the opponents to a low total.
So, ahead of the much important clash, both teams will be eyeing a win as it can change the dynamics of the points table.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Apr 21, 2017 00:09 AM