Vivo IPL 2017: Match 21: Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians
Holkar Stadium, Indore (Capacity: 30,000)
Thursday, 20th April
What can you say about the Kings XI Punjab? Perennial underdogs, check. Resigned to be 8th forever, perhaps. Full of surprises. Maybe. It’s that maybe that their supporters will be clinging onto, to beat Mumbai, who are one of the stronger teams in this IPL. They’ve looked good in patches, but conversely, they’ve shown glimpses of their dismal 2016 form as well and apart from some encouraging sparks in Manan Vohra, and Glenn Maxwell, there’s very little to be excited about. Mumbai will look to capitalize on a flat wicket and tiny boundaries, which are right up its alley and will be confident of getting the better of the Kings XI Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab: L (SRH), L (DD), L (KKR)
Mumbai Indians: W (GL), W (RCB), W (SRH)
Punjab’s bowling attack has not been able to contain the hard hitting of any of the 3 previous batting lineups it has faced, even on a slow pitch. The Indore pitch will be their worst nightmare, as far as pitches go. Short boundaries will help the hard-hitting styles of Parthiv, Rohit, Buttler and Pollard and the flat track will give no respite to the somewhat mediocre attack the Kings boast. Their batting lineup, however, with Maxwell and Morgan will welcome the tiny boundaries and true pace of the wicket to chase down or put up a big score. Their effectiveness against the superior pace bowling attack the Indians have will be interesting to see.
Mumbai are the more settled of the two lineups, going into the game with a strong spin contingent with Krunal Pandya, whose quick skiddy finger spin will be effective on a surface that does not offer much for the quicks. Their batting will welcome the flat surface and one can expect plenty of sixes from their top 4 and even some lower order fireworks from the Pandya brothers. The pace bowling is not as penetrative as it was last year but Bumrah, McClenaghan and Malinga are all match-winners and if even one or two of them can pull out a 3-fer or an especially economic spell, that should be enough to put Mumbai in the driver’s seat.
Pitch and Weather Report:
If you’re in Indore, you’re better off being indoors. And stupid puns aside, the weather is going to be in the high thirties and few clouds to block the sun. There will be a bit of wind around, which could give the players and spectators some respite. It will definitely rain— sixes, as the ground is notorious for being tiny, with flat deck in store for the two teams.
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 4 Glenn Maxwell (capt), 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 David Miller, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Mohit Sharma, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 KC Cariappa, 11 Ishant Sharma
Mumbai Indians: 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Rohit Sharma (capt), 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Lasith Malinga
In short: Mumbai Indians
In long: There’s no surprise that Mumbai are favourites. They’re running on hot form and they’re facing one of the weakest opponents in the tournament. The scores will be high, in the 180-200 range and the chasing team will hold the advantage. The big hitters will have an advantage, and miscues and thick edges might carry over the rope at the Holkar, much to the disappointment of the MCC. If the Kings XI are to overcome the force that is the Mumbai Indians, Sandeep Sharma will need to nick out their top order and the rest of the attack will have to hold down the lower order. Mumbai will look to play their natural slash-and-burn type of cricket, while maintaining their bowling prowess.
Vedant Jain is a contributor at CricMetric. For any queries or information, email firstname.lastname@example.org