IPL 2020: Gayle-inspired KXIP will eye win against confident MI
Mumbai Indians will take on Kings XI Punjab at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium later in the day
Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) is in confident mood of sealing a playoff berth with a victory when they play a squashed Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 36th game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.
Despite being in great form, MI Paltan led by Rohit Sharma wouldn't take KXIP lightly, as Punjab will be motivated after their last win thanks to Universe Boss Chris Gayle. While MI are the joint toppers with 12 points, Punjab placed at the bottom of the eight-team standings and another defeat will make their mission difficult.
After missing nearly half games, Chris Gayle made a decent start with a 45-ball 53 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the previous match. The Punjab management will hope the Caribbean giant to replicate the show along with the in-form opener Mayank Agarwal and captain KL Rahul, who has been the leading scorer with 1,700 runs off 36 games.
Talking about bowling, this department relies on Mohammad Shami, KXIP's top wicket taker with 31 wickets from 22 games and Ravi Bishnoi as the others have failed to impress.
Coming to the Mumbai side, MI has been sublime in every department of the game. However, they need to be a bit aware against KXIP, who now have Universe Boss in their squad.
Skipper Rohit Sharma and opener Quinton de Kock are in good form while the middle-order features Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan who are pretty decent. The Jasprit Bumrah-Trent Boult pace guns are performing excellent with Rahul Chahar giving the spin support. MI may rest their one of the pacer today. Keiron Pollard, Krunal and Hardik Pandya support MI's lower-middle-order.
MI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult/Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah
KXIP: KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, K Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh