Mumbai Indians Recent Form
Shocking. There is no other word to describe it for the Mumbai Indians. The batting unit are not giving their bowlers enough to attack with, while their bowling unit is not functioning at the standards you would expect from the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard!
A particular area of weakness for the MI this year is their batting in the middle overs (7-16). They have the lowest run rate of all teams in the IPL for this phase, averaging just 6.75 an over.
Skipper Rohit Sharma is clearly struggling to find his best team – opting for just two overseas players in the latest defeat to the RCB meaning he has used 15 players in total this season – the second-most in the competition.
All hope is not lost for franchise fans though – in 2015, they lost all four of their opening games and went onto win the tournament.
How the Mumbai Indians could do with a player of Jofra Archer’s ilk. The English fast bowler was purchased for INR 8 crore in the Mega auction, despite the player’s unavailability due to an elbow injury.
The return of Suryakumar Yadav from a thumb injury sustained on India’s tour of the West Indies has come in the nick of time for the Indians’ ailing batting line-up, which appears to need all the help it can get!
There are no other injury concerns following the defeat to the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Player to Watch: Suryakumar Yadav
The one bright spark in a miserable campaign. The middle-order firecracker hit an astonishing 68 not out against the RCB to drag his team from the precipice at 79/6 to a respectable 1516.
It was his second half-century in a row, after hitting 52 runs in a losing cause against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
If I were to have a bet on anything involving the Mumbai Indians, it would be on Yadav to top score for them – you can back him at 4.50 to get the most runs on the board for his team with Betway.
MI’s Likely XI
Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Dewald Brevis, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Kieron Pollard, Daniel Sams, Murugan Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Tymal Mills, Basil Thampi.
Punjab Kings Recent Form
The defeat to the Gujarat Titans would have been devastating to their squad – particularly to West Indies youngster and nominal death bowler Odean Smith. Requiring 18 from the final over, Smith had done a good job, limiting them to five from the first three deliveries.
Then a costly moment of inexperience struck – after bowling what should have been a dot ball, Smith turned to shy at the bowler’s end, with Titans’ Tewatia out of his ground. He missed, allowing them to steal a run. The rest is history – Tewatia hit two sixes on the trot to make history and win the game for the Titans.
It wasn’t all on Smith – this young and exciting Punjab Kings outfit still need to close games out better than they are doing.
However, they are showing all the right signs to mount a playoff challenge at the very least.
There is a concern surrounding batsman Jitesh Sharma, who looked to sustain a hamstring injury while fielding in the deep against the Titans.
If it is the hamstring, it is highly unlikely Sharma will feature here. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who made way for the returning Jonny Bairstow against the Titans, could return to the side in his absence.
There are no further injury issues for the Kings to worry about.
Punjab Kings’ Likely XI
Shikar Dhawan (c), Mayank Agarwal, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Shahrukh, Odean Smith, Harpreet Brar, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh.
Venue & conditions
The average first innings score at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium across four matches this season is 173.25, although those totals have been getting lower as the tournament has gone on.
The previous two matches have been won by the team batting second, while the first two matches were won by the team setting the target.
The weather is set to very warm, with the sun beating down on the track at 40 degrees throughout the day.