IPL 10, Match 51, MI v KXIP – Mumbai Indians Predicted XI

IPL 10, Match 51, MI v KXIP – Mumbai Indians Predicted XI

After facing a defeat from Sunrisers, Mumbai will be keen to get back to winning ways ahead of the playoffs.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo: IANS)

Mumbai Indians are already through to the playoffs with two league games still to be played. Rohit Sharma would be keen to keep winning to ensure that they finish in the top two positions in the points table and take the momentum into the playoffs.

They will be wary of Kings XI Punjab, who they face next at the Wankhede Stadium. Punjab are playing like cornered tigers in their quest of making it to the playoffs. They come into this game after a resounding 14-run win against 2-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders. KXIP have a decent team and the inclusion of leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia has worked in their favour. Facing Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, though, can be a daunting proposition but Punjab have nothing to lose hence, nothing to fear.

Rohit Sharma’s side suffered their third defeat this year in their last game against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. They could put up just 138 runs on the board which Hyderabad chased down with utmost ease with 7 wickets in hand and 10 balls to spare. Their batting, barring skipper Rohit, had no answer to some disciplined bowling by the SRH bowlers.

Let us have a look at the Predicted XI of Mumbai Indians for their home game against Kings XI:

Openers (Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel)

Simmons was surprisingly left out in the initial phases of the tournament. He made a memorable comeback to the XI as he scored a 43-ball 66 against Daredevils on Saturday. The West Indian, though, was dismissed early against Sunrisers Hyderabad as he was castled by Mohammed Nabi for 1. Simmons has a terrific IPL record averaging 45.86 in 24 IPL games which include a century as well and is expected to play the remaining games this season.

Patel has had a decent season and will partner Simmons at the top of the order. He has ensured that Mumbai gets off to a quick start and doesn’t mind getting out in the process. Being a left-hander, teams have peppered him with off-spin bowling early on to which Patel has responded exceedingly well. He is a good player of spin bowling and is an expert in finding the gaps in the field, especially behind square on the off-side. His 17-ball 23 in the last game might not sound great but he did what is expected of him.

Middle Order (Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard)

It is often said that cricket is a great leveller and Nitish Rana has by now pretty much experienced it. 6 games ago, against the same opposition Kings XI Punjab, Rana racked up a brilliant 62* to lead his side to a comfortable win. 3 weeks and 5 innings later, he has mustered to just 66 runs collectively. The good part is that his side is still backing him to do well at No. 3. The left-hander now needs to repay the faith to the franchise by emulating the same kind of performances he did three weeks ago.

Barring the first few games, where he struggled to get runs, Rohit has been in decent form. His average of 27.77 this year is largely due to his early struggles and post that he has registered three half-centuries. An in-form Rohit is crucial to Mumbai Indians chances of a possible third IPL title. He will bat at No. 4 and will be responsible for finishing the innings off.

Pollard has had a middling season thus far. 299 runs in 11 innings is not what you expect from your overseas star player. These numbers have to improve if Mumbai want to get their hands anywhere close to the IPL trophy. Pollard has struggled to get going towards the latter stages of an innings and could gather just five runs in nine balls before getting holed out in the deep against SRH.

All-rounders (Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya)

Pandya brothers have been outstanding this year. Krunal has missed three games this year, while young Hardik has appeared in every game this season. Both give Mumbai depth in the batting department as well as the right balance to the XI. Hardik got a perfect opportunity to build an innings in the last game as he was sent to bat at No. 5 but the Baroda lad could only manage to score a sluggish 15 off 24 balls.

Krunal missed out the last game as the think-tank thought of including the wrist spin of Karn Sharma against SRH. He is expected to get back in the XI for this game and will be keen to contribute with both bat and bowl.

Both Pandya’s have done a reasonable job with the ball. Krunal has been shrewd with his lines and has 10 wickets in 9 games at an economy rate of 6.70. Hardik hasn’t bowled too much but has done a job whenever Rohit has thrown the ball at him.

Bowlers (Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah)

Harbhajan Singh has been very crafty with his off-spin. An economy rate of just 5.81 after 38 overs of bowling this year is a hallmark of his consistency and confidence this year. The 36-year old has been Rohit’s go-to man whenever he needs a few tight overs and the off-spinner has delivered every single time. The most expensive spell this year from Harbhajan has been 0/27 in 4 overs against KKR in April.

McClenaghan enjoys the backing of his skipper. He was expensive initially but Rohit persisted with him and since then the Kiwi has been amongst the wickets and has conceded fewer runs as well. He is a wicket-taking bowler and does a great job towards the end of an innings. The left-arm pacer was tidy against SRH as he returned with 1/26 off four overs.

Lasith Malinga has been a shadow of his former self this year. His career has been plagued by injuries but the Sri Lankan is not just giving up. His action makes it very difficult to get him away for runs. Rohit has backed him to come good which means he is expected to start this game. If he can get his act together, Mumbai Indians will be a side to beat.

Bumrah has played the role of Malinga this year bowling accurately at the death. He has 14 wickets from 12 games with an economy of 7.89 this year. Rohit has counted on him to deliver at the death overs and the 23-year old has not disappointed his skipper.

Wankhede will be nicely lit up for this game as this will be the last home game for Mumbai this year, though they are expected to play the Qualifiers which is scheduled to take place on May 16 at this ground.