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IPL 2017: KXIP face an uphill task against confident Mumbai

Rohit Sharma (Photo Credits: Indian Express via BCCI)

Kings XI Punjab will face a tough challenge against Mumbai Indians when they will take on the visitors at their home ground. Punjab won both their matches at this ground but have failed to put a good show away from home. They have completed a hat-trick of defeats and now they will face a strong Mumbai side that is looking in sublime form.

When these two teams met in the last season, both of them won one match each and it’s even-stevens on overall head to head as well (9-all) but today definitely Mumbai will hold an edge given the quality of cricket they have shown.

Rohti Sharma, MI
Rohit Sharma (Photo Credits: Indian Express via BCCI)

Mumbai Indians will be high on confidence coming into this match as their young players are playing with greater responsibility and the void of experienced players coming back into form was completed by their skipper in the last match.

Kieron Pollard is hitting the ball as he generally does and Rohit Sharma is the best person to tell this as he was hit by a bullet from Pollard at the non-striker end. The only man they would be hoping to get back his form as soon as possible will be Jos Buttler and we all know what he can do on his day.

Their pace bowling is doing a good job with Bumrah and Malinga leading the way and they have got good support from the spinners as Krunal Pandya and experienced Harbhajan Singh have delivered the goods for them. They are unlikely to make any changes to their winning combination. If they win today, they will claim the top position in the table.

Punjab, on the other hand, is facing some issues with their playing XI. Manan Vohra played one of the best innings of the tournament so far but he was the lone warrior in the chase against SRH as he could not find any support at the other end.

Their foreign batsmen are not producing the expected performances. Eoin Morgan and David Miller have looked off the track, Glenn Maxwell hasn’t been able to continue his good start of the tournament and Hashim Amla has found it hard to get the boundaries after the powerplay overs.

They might look to add Martin Guptill into the squad but his batting position can be tricky as Manan Vohra and Hashim Amla are doing a god job at the top.

Though their bowling hasn’t also made it easy for them with Varun Aaron and Ishant Sharma leaking runs, the other two Sharma’s, Sandeep and Mohit are doing a good job and they would be hoping that the third Sharma also joins them. They may look to give another chance to T Natarajan.

Their spin looks dependent on Axar Patel and he too hasn’t found much support from KC Cariappa. They are definitely missing one good foreign bowler as the Indian bowlers so far haven’t been able to produce the results.

Match Predictions: The pitch is expected to ease out in the second innings and chasing will be the preferred option of the side winning the toss. Mumbai looks strong on paper and with the form they have, but they won’t taking Punjab lightly who would be playing at home.

Toss Predictions: Mumbai Indians will win the toss and will elect to field.

MI Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma (c), Nitish Rana, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan.

KXIP Probable XI: Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Glenn Maxwell (c), Martin Guptill, David Miller, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KC Cariappa, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma.

Venue: Holkar Stadium, Indore.

Date & Kick-off– April 20, 2017, 8:00 PM IST.

Live Streaming – Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD, Sony Max, Sony Max HD, Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD and Hot Star.

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