Two-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians will clash against Kings XI Punjab at Holkar Stadium, Indore on Thursday as both the teams look to assert dominace in the tournament. Both the teams have clashed in 18 matches thus far and are deadlocked at nine wins apiece. However, as far as the last nine matches are concerned, Mumbai holds a 6-3 lead.
MI have been in phenomenal form in this edition of the Indian Premier League while registering convincing wins in four of their last five matches. Despite losing the first match to Pune Supergiant, they made an amazing comeback and performed well in the other matches as a unit.
The team's middle and lower order consisting of batsmen like Nitish Rana and all-rounders Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers has emerged as their biggest strength in the season.
Captain Rohit Sharma too showed good form in his team's last match against Gujarat Lions as he scored 40 runs off 29 deliveries. The bowling front too is in good form with the old warhorses Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh leading from the front.
Further, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Mcclenaghan and the Pandya brothers have provided crucial breakthroughs for their team.The story has been completely different for the other team, Kings XI Punjab.
They have had a pretty disappointing tournament after displaying phenomenal skills to win their first two matches convincingly against Rising Pune Supergiant and Royal Challengers Bangalore. KXIP lost three in a row later on and are currently placed fifth in the IPL table with four points.
Although captain Glenn Maxwell, South African import Hashim Amla and Indian domestic sensation Manan Vohra have handled the batting responsibilities well, the rest of the team continues to flounder.
David Miller and Eoin Morgan have failed to fire consistently and wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha too hasn't lived up to expectations. As far as the bowling is concerned, fast bowlers such as Varun Aaron and Mohit Sharma have leaked too many runs to the disadvantage of the team.
Off-spinner Axar Patel has been the only positive for Punjab in the bowling front but he needs the support of other bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Aaron, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa and Matt Henry among others.Keeping the current forms of both the teams in mind, Mumbai Indians begin as the firm favourites for the match.
However, KXIP have not lost a single match at the Holkar Stadium in Indore this season and they will surely be looking to put their IPL campaign back on track with a win over the in-form MI at their adopted home ground.
Probable team of Mumbai Indians
Probable team of Kings XI Punjab
Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Darren Sammy, Shardul Thakur, KC Cariappa, Sandeep Sharma