About the Match
Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab occupy the second and fifth positions respectively in the IPL points table, with four and two wins each from their respective first five matches. These two teams will now take on each other in the 22nd match of the league at Indore on 20th April. On one hand, a win here will put Mumbai right at the top of the table; but on the other hand, Punjab would be more eager to get their campaign back on track.
Mumbai Indians lost their first match of the season against Pune in what was a rather closely fought game. They posted a good total batting first; but their bowling attack, missing the services of Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh, could not overcome Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith and hence were unable to defend the total.
But after that game, Mumbai was able to find the right combination, and have now won four matches in a row, winning both home and away. They have now defeated Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Gujarat in a row and are looking like a well settled and increasingly difficult to overcome unit with each passing game.
Mumbai’s batting has looked good in all the games thus far, with Nitish Rana, Pollard, Jos Butler and Pandya brothers playing important roles at different times in different games. In their last game against Gujarat Lions, their captain Rohit Sharma also seemed to be getting back into rhythm, and this will only increase the potency of this batting line up.
A batting unit this good, along with a dependable bowling line up, makes Mumbai one of the teams to beat at this stage of the tournament; and with the kind of momentum they are bringing into this game, they would be really hard to overcome for the Kings XI.
Kings XI Punjab
Punjab started their campaign with wins in their first two matches at their second home, Indore, but have now lost three in a row at away venues. Momentum is not with Punjab, but they can take comfort from the fact that they would be returning to the venue of their two wins for this game.
Punjab started their campaign with an emphatic win over Pune, chasing down 164 runs with ease on the back of some great batting by Captain Glen Maxwell with others chipping in as well. Then Punjab continued their run in the next match with an absolute thrashing of Royal Challengers Bangalore. Bowlers restricted Bangalore to 148 and then Amla and Maxwell made short work of the chase.
But as they moved away from home, they lost the next three matches to Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad. Against Kolkata, none of the batsmen were able to convert and go on to get a substantial score. Punjab tried to address this weakness in batting by including Eoin Morgan against Delhi, but the bowlers gave away plenty and then Kings XI could not chase it down.
Against Hyderabad, the bowlers did reasonably well; but the batsmen, with the exception of Manan Vohra, could not get going. Vohra made an outstanding 95, but was left stranded alone against the excellence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
After playing three games in a row away from home, Punjab are back at Indore, where they have two wins out of two. This will give Punjab reason to feel optimistic. They are a quality team and have the resources to bounce back. It’s just that they will need to regroup quickly in order to arrest this slide.
Mumbai and Kings XI are facing each other for the first time this season, and the match being held at Indore, offers some much-needed home advantage to the Kings XI, both their wins have come at this venue. Kings XI are a good team and will have home advantage as well, but Mumbai is the form team and have won their last four matches irrespective of playing at home or away and this gives them the upper hand in this contest