IPL 2018: Match 50, MI vs KXIP, Preview – Title at stake for the defending champions against the battered Punjab
Will the much-awaited Gayle storm arrive at the Wankhede?
Updated - May 16, 2018 7:42 pm
Mumbai Indians (MI) will face Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Wankhede Stadium in what is supposed to be the last chance for them to defend their title in the ongoing season. The race for the playoffs has intensified and both the teams have faced the heat for not improving their game at the crunch situations. While the hosts lost their previous encounter to the Royals courtesy Jos Buttler‘s heroics, Punjab were thumped rather annihilated by RCB in Indore. However, the contest between the two teams should be intriguing with a place in the playoffs at stake.
Rohit Sharma was not too critical of his boys after losing and believed that they will come back in the last couple of league games. It will be important for the middle-order to learn from their mistakes and step up to the challenge as they have messed up so many brilliant starts provided by the opening duo of Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav. The bowlers also have to look after their plans and execute them properly in the most important game of the season for the team.
Ravi Ashwin and his men were shattered after a lacklustre performance the other night and they will hope that it was a one-off blip for their batsmen. The fact that they are overly dependent on their openers has come back to haunt them badly and it seems that they will have to take a few harsh decisions going into this game. Moreover, an injury to their mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has not helped the team’s cause at all. It will be interesting if he gets fit for the marquee clash and helped his side get out of the rut.
Toss: KXIP won the toss and elected to field first
Kings XI Punjab (Playing XI): Lokesh Rahul(w), Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot
For KXIP: In – Yuvraj Singh and Manoj Tiwary. Out – Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal
Mumbai Indians (Playing XI): Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah
For MI: In – Kieron Pollard. Out – JP Duminy
Mumbai might spring in a surprise by bringing in Adam Milne, the Kiwi speedster, in order to bowl the fiery short balls to the Punjab batsmen who fell in a similar trap in their previous game. JP Duminy has to make way for him as he has been used neither with the bat nor with the ball by the team so far. They might also be tempted to go back with Kieron Pollard but the bowling needs to be strengthened even more with the all-rounders taking up the responsibility of scoring the runs at the backend of the innings.
Kings XI Punjab
It is unlikely that the team management will make a wholesale of changes after one bad performance. But they will hope that the middle-order fares decently and also might bring in Yuvraj Singh in place of Mayank Agarwal who has done absolutely nothing despite getting many chances. Yuvi can bring in the much-needed experience and if he finds his groove, can tonk the ball a long way as well. The bowling line-up has done well and will back themselves to come good again.
Focus will be on
Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)
Undoubtedly, all eye will be on him in this crunch game. He is known to be a big-match player and no wonder the onus will be on him to take his team through in this match. Surprisingly, he has not played the ‘Hitman’ like innings so far and the timing for him to blaze away could not get better. The tag of the defending champions is at stake and he would want to make amends of all his earlier failures this season.
Andrew Tye (Kings XI Punjab)
The purple cap holder has to come to the fore for his struggling team and pick the key wickets up front. He will also need to bowl well at the death and keep the likes of Hardik Pandya and Ben Cutting quiet who can take the game away from the opposition with a blink of an eye. Tye is a proven performer this season and has 20 wickets to his name with a couple of 4-wicket hauls also being economical in most of his spells. He would love to increase his tally in this massive game for his team.
Head to Head
Played- 21, Kings XI Punjab – 10, Mumbai Indians – 11
3976 – Chris Gayle needs 24 more runs to complete 4000 runs in the IPL. Only six players have scored over 4000 runs in the IPL thus far.
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Jalsha (Bengali), Star Maa Movies (Telegu), Star Sports Tamil
Live Streaming– Hotstar & YuppTv
Match Timings: 20:00 IST, 14:30 GMT