Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians: Preview and Likely 11s
Kings XI Punjab will fight against Mumbai Indians on ThursdayImage source: Twitter

Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians: Preview and Likely 11s

As Kings XI Punjab takes on Mumbai Indians today, here’s the preview of the mega-clash between two big teams

Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah vs KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, this battle at the start of the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) might prove to be the deciding factor for the match.

While both Rahul and Agarwal have batted brilliantly up until this match, Mumbai Indians’ (MI) duo of Boult and Bumrah can’t be signed off in spite of not being at their best. Just one good over, and these two can destroy the best batting line-ups at any pitch.

Both teams carry a similar fate, losing two and winning one, and one of the losses coming in a super over. They even committed the same mistake in the super-over, not sending in their set batsman.

MI would be the more worried side, facing the team which has the two leading run-scorers of the season as openers. With their bowling looking out of touch, it is an uphill task for them to contain these two, not to mention the firepower that follows.

Mumbai, would not be too concerned with the batting department as all their frontline batsmen have had game time and have played at least 1 good innings in the season, Quinton de Kock being the only exception. But a player of his calibre can get going at any time. The two all-rounders would be a matter of concern for them.

The balance that the Pandya brothers provide is what makes Mumbai Indians as formidable as they are. With Hardik Pandya coming out of surgery, he has not been used as a bowler by the captain in this season and his returns with the bat have not been enough for a pure batsman. Krunal, the elder of the Pandyas, has looked out of touch with both bat and ball. This however, in no way, means that dropping any of them is a thought that would cross their captain’s mind. Pollard chipping in with a few overs has helped Rohit Sharma be at ease.

Touted as two of the best bowling attacks in the league, they have struggled at the death. Both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have not been able to find the right lengths towards the fad end of the innings. Their respective captains would be worried about death-specialists not giving good returns.

If Nathan Coulter-Nile recovers from his pre-season injuries, he will replace James Pattinson in the Mumbai line-up straightaway. Ishan Kishan’s 99 in the last game, alongside him being the better fielder means that Saurabh Tiwary will have to warm the bench.

For KXIP, Chris Gayle has been waiting on the sidelines, but Mayank Agarwal’s performances at the top make a demotion highly unlikely and baffling. They might be tempted to play Mujeeb Ur-Rehman as a wicket-taking option, but that would mean dropping Sheldon Cottrell for an uncapped Indian pacer, which could prove detrimental for them at the death. If they do play Mujeeb, Murugan Ashwin will have to make way for Ishan Porel.

Probable XI:

KXIP: KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Sarfaraz Khan, M Ashwin/Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Sheldon Cottrell/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Shami

MI: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (wk), SuryaKumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson/Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

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