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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 21 April 2012 - 06:46pm IST

Preview: Match 28 – MI v KXIP

Mumbai Indians host struggling Kings XI Punjab

What

Match 28 of DLF IPL 2012 will see the Mumbai Indians clash with Kings XI Punjab.


The Mumbai Indians have maintained a low profile since their drubbing at the hands of the Delhi Daredevils on Monday. Harbhajan Singh’s men have had five days to regroup since they were bowled out for 92, and they will want to put up a better show as they eye a quick move up the ladder.

Kings XI Punjab have blown hot and cold so far. After losing their first two matches, they recovered well to beat the Pune Warriors India convincingly at home. After that, they held their nerves in a tight contest against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Since then though, they’ve been at the receiving end against the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. KXIP face a massive task to lift themselves from the bottom half of the table; and they need to do it in a hurry, lest they will find themselves out of the title race very quickly.

When

Sunday, April 22, 2011, 04:00 p.m.


Where


Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai


The Protagonists


Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, who will be under the microscope every time he takes the field, Mumbai Indians have plenty of talent in their line-up. Ambati Rayudu is among the best of the modern crop of Indian batsmen. The 26-year-old batted at the pivotal No.3 position and finished among the top two run-getters for his team in IPL 2011. However, he hasn’t quite found that form yet in IPL 2012 and has only managed 89 runs in five innings.

Look out for the explosive Kieron Pollard too; the Trinidadian showed glimpses of how destructive he can be in the match against the Rajasthan Royals when he scored his first half-century in IPL 2012. The 24-year-old’s biggest problem has been his inconsistency, and MI will hope he can deliver those big blows frequently.

Also keep an eye on Harbhajan Singh’s decision-making. The off-spinner came in for a lot of flak after the game against the Delhi Daredevils, when he chose not bowl on a spinner-friendly surface at the Wankhede Stadium. With the Mumbai Indians set to miss the services of Lasith Malinga, they need someone to raise their game. Will Harbhajan Singh be up for the challenge?

The overseas trio of Shaun Marsh, David Hussey and Azhar Mahmood are the three key players in the Kings XI Punjab line-up. Marsh has been a consistent performer for the team, while Azhar Mahmood gave glimpses of what he is capable of in the match against RCB. David Hussey has a very good track record as captain in Twenty20 cricket; however, captaining an IPL team is a different challenge altogether. How well he will be able to shoulder that responsibility – along with that of being the team’s premier batsman – remains to be seen.

Previous Meetings

Kings XI Punjab hold a slight edge in their meetings against the Mumbai Indians. The two teams have met on eight occasions and KXIP have emerged victors in five of those. In the two matches last season, both teams shared honors by winning their respective home games.

Trivia

The Mumbai Indians have the lowest scoring rate of all the nine teams in IPL 2012; their overall scoring rate is 6.73 so far.

What next?

The next time both these teams will be seen in action is on April 25 when Mumbai Indians travel to Mohali for their away fixture against Kings XI Punjab.

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