IPL 10, Match 51, MI v KXIP – Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI

IPL 10, Match 51, MI v KXIP – Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI

Punjab still have a chance of finishing in the top 4 if they win their next two games. They will face Mumbai Indians in an away game to press towards a playoff spot.

Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab player celebrate fall of a wicket. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Kings XI Punjab lived to fight another day when they beat KKR by 14 runs at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. They need to win the rest two games in order to qualify for the playoffs and they are not going down without putting up a fight. They now face table-toppers Mumbai Indians in their own den. Mumbai has been in outstanding form this year and have managed to lose just thrice in 12 games.

They will come into this game at the back of a one-sided defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad hence their confidence will not exactly be sky-high. It was Rohit Sharma’s 67 which got them to 138 which proved to be on the lower side as SRH got home with little under 2 overs to spare. They would want to get back to winning ways for this format is all about momentum and that is what they would want to carry forward to the knockout stages later.

Punjab were brilliant against KKR in a see-saw battle. After Lynn’s onslaught, they still had the courage to claw back into the game through spin. Tewatia and Axar bowled tight lines to keep Lynn under check which eventually won them the game as the asking rate kept surging in the middle overs. With Amla and Miller gone for national duty, Punjab still have quality players in their ranks to win games.

Let us have a look at Kings XI’s Predicted XI for this crunch game against Mumbai:

Openers (Martin Guptill and Manan Vohra)

Despite collectively getting 23 runs in the last three innings, Guptill is expected to play this crucial game. The Kiwi opener has enough quality to turn around a run of low scores. He was trapped in front by Narine in the last game for 13 when he tried to hit one across the line. With Guptill’s talent, he is better off hitting it down the ground which is also his strength. The 30-year old is also an excellent fielder in the outfield.

Due to Amla’a absence, Vohra opened the innings with Guptill and looked in good touch. He struck four crisply timed boundaries before he gloved a short delivery from Umesh Yadav to the safe hands of Robin Uthappa after getting to 25. Vohra needs to fire at the top of the order for the Kings XI Punjab batting is a little thin.

Middle Order (Shaun Marsh, Wriddhiman Saha and Glenn Maxwell)

Shaun Marsh had a rare failure against KKR as Woakes broke through his defense to hit the stumps. Marsh has been involved with this franchise since 2008 and will desperately want to contribute towards a possible playoff spot. At 33, Marsh has enough experience to handle the anxiety of big games.

Saha got to some form with a steady 38 in the last match. His 71-run partnership with Maxwell was crucial to Punjab’s final total of 167. He was willing to do the ‘dirty’ work of building an innings even if he wasn’t in the best of form. He struck some form in the latter part of his innings as he got 28 runs in the last 16 balls he faced. The wicket-keeper should be persisted with at No. 4 as he has done well for Punjab batting up the order in the past.

Maxwell provided some great entertainment in his knock of 44 against KKR. He faced just 25 balls and struck 4 sixes in his innings to lift the Punjab innings. He would have gone on if Woakes hadn’t grabbed a great running catch at long-off. Maxwell getting in some kind of form is great news for Punjab as he capable of taking the game away from the opposition in a matter of minutes. If the openers provide a decent start, Maxwell must promote himself to bat at No. 3.

All-rounders (Rahul Tewatia and Axar Patel)

Tewatia had a dream debut for Kings XI Punjab. Selected to play a game after being benched for 11 straight games, Tewatia never looked like being rusty. The leg-spinning all-rounder first got crucial runs towards the end of the innings and then bowled a match-turning spell returning with 2/18 which included the wickets of in-form Gambhir and Uthappa. The Haryana lad bowled smart lengths to keep someone like Chris Lynn quiet during his spell.

Axar too had a great game. While he did not pick any wickets, but his 0/28 in 4 overs along with 2 sharp catches in the outfield and a crucial run out of Lynn contributed to Punjab’s win. Patel has been a very consistent performer for Kings XI and should raise his game to another level to make sure his side qualifies ahead.

Bowlers (Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Matt Henry and KC Cariappa)

After getting hit for 20 runs in his first two overs by Lynn and Narine, Sandeep Sharma made a remarkable comeback bowling 2 overs for 11 runs in the death to contribute to the victory. It was due to these unnoticeable contributions that Punjab could get to a victory. Sandeep swings the bowl both ways and has an accurate yorker which makes him a deadly T20 bowler.

Like Sandeep, Mohit Sharma too was a chief architect of the KKR win. Mohit mixed it up beautifully to keep the batsmen guessing. He picked the crucial wickets of Yusuf and Narine to finish with figures of 2/24 in three overs which was good enough for him to be the Man of the Match. Mohit’s cutters and back of the hand slower balls are handy during the middle and end overs and Maxwell is fully aware of that.

After conceding 23 runs in his first 2 overs on his IPL debut, Henry was given the responsibility of bowling the 18th over. The pressure was colossal, something which Henry might not be used to, but the Kiwi responded by giving away just 8 runs along with sending Manish Pandey back to the hut. Punjab are likely to give him another go as he has pace which can be utilized against Mumbai.

KC Cariappa spun Punjab to victory against Gujarat Lions picking 2/24 and appeared in just one more game before been sidelined. The Wankhede pitch will suit Cariappa’s style of bowling which might prompt Maxwell to pick the mystery spinner in the XI.

Punjab have a great chance of doing well in this game as they have the momentum. They, though, will have to bring their A game to Wankhede as they will be up against the best team of IPL 2017.