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Mumbai Indians take on Kings XI Punjab in match 41 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
The Mumbai Indians sit among the top four teams in the table and are slowly finding form. After successive defeats, MI returned to winning ways defeating defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders and then followed it up with a resounding victory over RCB in their previous match.
Kings XI Punjab meanwhile lie mid-table with four wins and as many defeats. They suffered a five-wicket defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders in their most-recent outing but had two convincing wins prior to that.
KXIP coach Darren Lehmann confirmed on the eve of the match that Shaun Marsh had recovered from the injury and stood a fair chance of playing this match. His addition to the KXIP line-up will be a big boost to the team. Marsh is the leading run-getter for the Mohali franchise and has made runs in each of the four seasons he has participated in the league. His addition to the KXIP XI could also give Gilchrist a chance to slip down the order.
Monday, April 29, 2013, 8 p.m
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
The Mumbai Indians have plenty of in-form batsmen. The addition of Dwayne Smith has solved MI’s problems at the top of the innings. Runs from the West Indian – who has scored half-centuries in the last two matches – has reduced the burden on Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma who are MI’s two-most important batsmen. Sachin Tendulkar looked ominous in the previous match and that means MI now have a top four, all amongst the runs.
Mandeep Singh is KXIP’s top run-getter this season and that only establishes he has been the team’s best batsman. KXIP need runs from him and David Miller - their other man in form. Though skipper Adam Gilchrist has looked out of touch, he faced a fair number of deliveries in the previous match; a big knock from the Australia could be just round the corner.
The balance sways in favour of Kings XI Punjab where previous contests between them and Mumbai Indians are concerned. KXIP have won six of the ten matches between the two teams.
Last season, both teams failed to defend in their respective home territories.
Off the 39 wickets KXIP bowlers have picked up this IPL season, only four have been by their spinners (3 wickets by Piyush Chawla & 1 wicket by Bhargav Bhatt).
Both teams will head South after this fixture. Mumbai Indians head out to Hyderabad to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 1 while Kings XI Punjab head to Chennai to take on the Chennai Super Kings on May 2.
Kings XI Punjab are coming off a six wicket loss against KKR and on Monday they face Mumbai Indians, a team high on confidence after their thumping victory against RCB on Saturday. Mumbai Indians’ batting came good, their bowlers backed them and on the back of that performance, it will be an uphill task for Kings XI to get the better of MI. Kings XI coach Darren Lehmann is wary of the challenge ahead.
“Mumbai Indians are a quality side and they have played really well in the tournament so far. We have to be at the top of our game to beat them and we have to have some good man-of-the-match performances.”
Feeling that the wicket at the Wankhede will assist his team’s bowling, their strength, Lehmann said, “We saw the MI-RCB game and felt it was a good T20 wicket. Obviously it has a lot of bounce and carry in it. MI are a dangerous side to play at home and we will have to bowl well against them. Our strength is our bowling, so I expect us to bowl well.”
The bowling might be their plus point, but batting is still a cause for concern according to Lehmann who said, “Our batting has been a bit of a worry. But I have been impressed with the batting in the last few games. We played well against KKR in the previous game and got to 149 which we felt was defendable on that surface.”
Also, their captain has barely got going this season and there have been just a few standout performances in the batting line-up that has helped the Kings XI post good totals on board. Will we see Adam Gilchrist doing a Ricky Ponting by resting himself?
“Look, Gilchrist would like to get some runs under his belt, just like we all would like to. Gilly knows he has to make some runs, be it this game or the next game or the game after. Gilly has to come good soon. When a player is not scoring well, he is under scrutiny and it will be no different in Gilly’s case. We will sit down and see if he is a part of our selection plans.”
Lehmann had words of praise for the domestic talent who have time and again performed for the side. Be it chasing totals or scoring at a brisk rate, the likes of Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra have stood up to the occasion. It is only fair that the coach wants his overseas players to step up their game.
“I am impressed with the domestic talent. We have to harness our talent and it is our motive to make the local talent play to their best as much as they can. We have seen a lot of young players in the side who have done well for us. For example; Manan Vohra has been impressive in the opportunities he has got and we are exposing him to the big stage. I feel the overseas players need to make more contributions to make the job of the domestic players easier. This will be a good batting track and we expect our batsmen to play with a lot of freedom.”