IPL 2018: Can Mumbai stay alive by thumping wounded-KXIP at Wankhede?

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A battle of survival! Both the teams are heading into the game with an embarrassing loss in their backpack.  The business-end of the tournament is never that intriguing as this season has been. Every game is making the new possibilities for each team and tonight’s clash is one such fate changer of many franchises who are battling it out for playoffs’ spot.

Surprisingly, Mumbai Indians were knocked down by Rajasthan Royals at their fortress, Wankhede. They have got a stupendous batting line-up which would be a dream lineup but still, they found themselves on the wrong side of the things when Rajasthan bowlers hit those right lengths.

MI vs KXIP IPL 2018
Rohit (image source: zeenews.india.com)

However, in order to stay alive in the tourney, a couple of those batsmen need to pull up their socks. Rohit Sharma has been inconsistent with his bat while the strike rotation in middle overs is being the biggest area of concern for the team despite Hardik and Krunal are whacking it out nicely.

For KXIP, the batting department has been wayward in their previous encounter at home. Royal Challengers Bangalore made fun of their batting order in a ground which has a rich history for the batsmen. It was quite evident that Punjab was over-dependent on the openers. In order to break down their losing streak, batting department should come to the party at any cost.

The likes of Aaron Finch, Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal lost their touch at the crucial which became an area of concern for Punjab side. The bowling department also needs an immediate attention by the management who are finding it tough to deliver when it mattered the most.

Coming to bowling department, all the bowlers found their rhythm nicely but the brilliance of Jos Buttler made their task heavier. Bumrah got back to his own while Hardik Pandya is striking those wickets at regular intervals of time. Meanwhile, Mujeeb’s injury came at the wrong time for KXIP. The Indian bowlers are not finding the right lengths to hit which might prompt Punjab to make massive changes.

Match Details:

Toss Prediction – Ashwin might call it right and would choose to bowl.

Pitch Report – Historically, Wankhede always been a batting heaven with a bit of assistance to spinners.

Weather Report – No rain is in the forecast. An ideal night to play the game. Meanwhile, dew will play its role.

Match-winner prediction – Mumbai Indians.

Playing XI:

MI: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Pollard, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah.

KXIP: Lokesh Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma,  Ankit Rajpoot.

Date & Time – May 16th, 2018, Wednesday, 20:00 IST

Venue – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Live Telecast – Star Sports Network, Jio and Hotstar Premium customers