IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians Eye 3rd Straight Win, Host Buoyant Kings XI Punjab
Mumbai Indians will have home advantage when they take on a confident Kings XI Punjab.
Mumbai Indians had just one win after their first three matches in IPL 2019 but back-to-back wins have put the three-time IPL winners back on track. Mumbai Indians defeated two strong teams in Chennai Super Kings and SunRisers Hyderabad in their previous two matches and that will stand them in good stead when they host an upbeat Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. Kings XI Punjab will head to Mumbai in buoyant mood, having defeated SunRisers Hyderabad at home in their last match. The Punjab outfit have won four of their six matches in IPL 2019 so far and sit in third spot in the IPL Points Table -- joint on points with the top two teams, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings.
The previous encounter between the two teams in Mohali had ended in a comprehensive eight-wicket win for Kings XI Punjab, but home conditions at the Wankhede Stadium are expected to favour Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai's wins over CSK and SRH came mostly because of their all-round bowling strength as the bowlers defended totals successfully.
Mumbai Indians are also blessed with fearsome batting firepower in the fag end of the innings from West Indian Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya.
Kings XI, who too have been given a timely boost by their six-wicket victory on Monday night over SRH, need to chip away at the top of the Mumbai Indians batting as well as ensure that the big-striking Pollard and Hardik don't take away the game like they did when carving 45 runs in the last two overs against CSK to turn the game around.
Mumbai Indians don't even have a single batsman in the top-20 run scorers' list this season, an indication of the depth in their batting, and have a superior fast bowling attack bolstered by the inclusion of West Indian pacer, Alzarri Joseph, who blew away SRH with his record-breaking haul of 6/12 in Hyderabad in their previous game.
The hosts have a formidable pace attack with Jasprit Bumrah and left-arm Jason Behrendorff also there, along with Joseph and Hardik, to utilise the bounce and carry on the Wankhede track.
Kings XI, third on the table with eight points, have been top heavy in batting with KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal leading the way with 200-plus aggregates and the indomitable Gayle too not far behind.
In bowling, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets) has done well in five out of six games that the team has played and has got good support from the likes of Sam Curran, Mohammed Shami and Murugan Ashwin.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Alzarri Joseph, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Ankul Roy, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan09, Aditya Tare, Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav.
Kings XI Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (capt), KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, , Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Karun Nair, Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthi, Harpreet Brar, Simran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Hardus Viljoen, Ankit Rajpoot, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Agnivesh Ayachi.
Match starts at 8 pm IST
(With PTI inputs)