Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab’s seasons are almost mirror images of each other. (Source: IPL)
A host of permutations and combinations would be swirling around the Wankhede Stadium when Mumbai Indians host Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday. Mumbai and Punjab’s seasons look almost like mirror images of each other. Mumbai Indians suffered a rather horrid start before their annual May resurgence. However, their march to a playoff spot was halted by a defeat to Rajasthan Royals in their previous match. On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab won their first four matches on the bounce and have only won one since.
Because of the aforementioned resurgence, Mumbai Indians have somehow dragged themselves back into contention for a playoff spot while Kings XI Punjab have got themselves in the thick of action instead of serenely sitting on the top of the pile like Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. KXIP have been guilty of being over reliant on their openers, particularly KL Rahul. Rahul has been in the form of his life and has carried his bat through on two occassions already this season.
But Punjab’s middle order has been so fickle that good contributions from him and bowlers Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have not been able to save them on a number of occassions. Mujeeb had to sit out of their previous defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore where the bowling attack was flattened by AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli and it is yet to be confirmed as to whether he will be fit to appear in Mumbai or not.
Similarly, Suryakumar Yadav has emerged as the leading runscorer for the Mumbai Indians this season while other batsmen have contributed precious little. Jamaican Evin Lewis, who has played many important innings for West Indies in T20I cricket of late, has failed to reproduce his international form in the IPL so far. The same can be said about captain Rohit Sharma, who has struggled to send the ball into the far corners of the ground. Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab hence have plenty of problems that both sides can take advantage of. The one making the least mistakes wins.