Chennai: Punjab Kings (PBKS), who are placed at the bottom of points table, have their task cut out when they face Mumbai Indians (MI) in 17th match of IPL 2021 on Friday.
PBKS have failed to impress after a winning start. The PBKS under the guidance of KL Rahul, managed a win only in one out of their four matches. Their performance has struggled with the bat and bowl in two games leaving SunRisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings stroll to easy wins. The challenging batting unit hasn't hit the straps, except Rahul and Mayank Agarwal with the bat even the bowling has not shown any decent support.
Talking about batters, Universe Boss Chris Gayle has not been able to rule the game like he used to do so while his fellow West Indian Nicholas Pooran, considered as power-hitter, has come a cropper so far. Three straight defeats would have definitely hurt PBKS's confidence and the team needs to recover quickly or else its play-off hopes would be shattered. The one big hope for the Punjab franchise would be thrashing MI's out-of-form middle order that has struggled to get going on slow and spin-friendly surface in Chennai. PBKS may bring in Ravi Bishnoi, who did well last season against MI.
Talking about Mumbai Indians, the Rohit Sharma-led side crashed to defeat against Delhi Capitals (DC) following a clumsy batting show and will look for improvement. The captain has performed well so far, but other batsmen in the middle-order would be a major concern for the Paltans.
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, the young guns of the team's victorious 2020 tournament, have not been able to make match-winning contributions and that has hurt MI along with power hitting from Kieron Pollard and Pandya brothers failed to steal the show. The MI bowlers including Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar are doing pretty well but have not risen to the occasion.
It is still early days in this IPL 2021 but MI would like its players to find form and reliability and a match against out of form Punjab Kings (PBKS) could well be the start.
Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (C/wk), Chris Gayle/Dawid Malan, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Jalaj Saxena, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult