IPL 2018, Match 50, MI vs KXIP, Match Prediction: Who will win the match today, Mumbai Indians or Kings XI Punjab?

This game is a virtual eliminator as the loser will get knocked out of the tournament.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo by IANS)

Kings XI Punjab after winning 5 out of their first 6 games were at the top of the table at one stage in Indian Premier League (IPL) 11, but suddenly they have lost the plot in the second half of the tournament and now find their backs against the wall. They are taking on the Mumbai Indians tomorrow who are almost in a similar situation or perhaps worse as they have only 10 points on the board so far as opposed to Punjab’s 12 in the same number of games.

This game is a virtual eliminator as the loser will get knocked out of the tournament. Mumbai, if they lose, will simply have no chance of dragging their points’ tally to 14 which is a bare minimum to make the playoffs. Punjab, on the other hand, can still get to 14 even if they are beaten tomorrow, but their net run rate is not the most impressive and hence for them to advance to the playoffs with only 14 points is almost impossible.

Pitch and Conditions

Wankhede, in general, is a great batting surface because of its bounce. The pace of the outfield and the dimensions of the ground only add to the batsmen’s luxury. It’s one of those venues where you get great value for your shots. The ball comes nicely onto the bat and absolutely rockets through the outfield. Also with square and straight boundaries both extremely short, it rains sixes here in most of the games.

Playing Combination

Mumbai Indians

Probable Changes – JP Duminy out, Adam Milne in

Mumbai probably should have dropped Duminy in the last game itself, but they kept him in as an extra batsman and took the risk of relying on their part-timers to deliver 8 overs which cost them dearly as Hardik Pandya went for more than 50 in his 4 overs against Rajasthan.

Duminy has almost zero usage in the Mumbai line-up as he is not batting up the order. He is a quality player, but he has to bat at the top to make a difference which does not seem to be possible as Mumbai already have their top order settled. There is no point playing the South African veteran at no. 7 wasting a bowler’s spot. He should make way for Adam Milne.

Predicted XI: Evin Lewis, Surya Kumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah

Kings XI Punjab

Probable Changes – Marcus Stoinis out, Mujeeb Zadran in

Marcus Stoinis has built a good reputation for himself in the T20 circuit in the recent times, but he has not been at his fluent best this IPL. While he has played a couple of cameos, he has looked uncomfortable whenever facing quality spin on a slightly responsive surface.

Playing Stoinis for Mujeeb was a forced change for Punjab last game as the latter was unfit. If the Afghan teenager is fit for this one, he walks straight into the XI replacing Stoinis. While that will mean Punjab are a batsman short, it’s not a significant factor as 6 batsmen are enough on good pitches in T20 cricket if they deliver.

Predicted XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (WK), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Zadran

Team Comparison

Mumbai at home is a heavyweight side. They know the conditions so very well and the crowd and the atmosphere in and around the stadium in favour of the home team can be intimidating for the opposition at times. While Mumbai hasn’t quite dominated their home matches this tournament, Wankhede has been a fortress for them in the past and they will surely have an upper hand starting the game tomorrow.

Mumbai is a stronger team in terms of quality as well in comparison to Punjab. While their batting is nicely balanced with the right blend of aggression and composure, they have got a couple of real game breaking bowlers to go with it. Punjab, while they are also blessed with some genuine match winners, the fact that they are over-dependent on those specific few individuals and have big loopholes in between might haunt them.

Probable Top Performers

Krunal Pandya (Mumbai Indians), Aaron Finch (Kings XI Punjab)

Head to Head

Matches – 21, Mumbai Indians – 11, Kings XI Punjab – 10

The timing of the match: 08:00 pm IST

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports Select 1

Online – Jio TV, Hotstar

The prediction is for the Mumbai Indians to beat the Kings XI Punjab in this match.