Kings XI Punjab, the first team to seal a place in the Playoffs, take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in Match 48 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
Kings XI Punjab will now want to win for two reasons: They say winning is a habit, and KXIP will want to develop that habit. And secondly, the team now needs to finish among the top two, so they will get a second dash at qualifying for the title clash – if the need arises.
MI’s win over the Rajasthan Royals on Monday means they are barely alive in the race for the Playoffs. With two Playoff spots still open and five teams competing for them, MI cannot afford another subpar day on the field.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 8 pm IST
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Every time Kings XI Punjab have taken the field, the spotlight has been on Glenn Maxwell, who has been merciless on the bowlers. Opponents will continue to focus on him and hope to find a chink in his armour, while KXIP will hope he can carry his great form for the rest of the season. The Maxwell equivalent on the bowling front is Sandeep Sharma. The 21-year-old has impressed with his ability to swing the ball both ways and has always accounted for the big fish.
Mumbai Indians will be glad at discovering an opening combination that works. Having Michael Hussey at the top comes with several benefits. Apart from his experience, his calmness at the crease and ability to win matches, he also lends solidity to the batting line-up and gives MI the advantage of having a left-right combination up front, which bowlers don’t quite enjoy. Among others who will be expected to step up are skipper Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard.
Notes from previous match
Kings XI Punjab v Delhi Daredevils: Delhi Daredevils were, at one point, calling all the shots as they raced away to 55 for one after six overs. The way the Kings XI Punjab bowlers pulled things back was incredible; DD could only muster a further 109 runs in the remaining 14 overs. The two 20-year-olds in the team – Manan Vohra and Akshar Patel – further enhanced their credentials. While Vohra’s blitz at the start ensured KXIP were always in control of the run-chase, Akshar Patel impressed with his all-round performance. The all-rounder from Gujarat was tidy with the ball – picking up the wicket of the dangerous Kevin Pietersen, and then steering his team home during the run-chase.
Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals: One expects there will be relief in the Mumbai Indians camp after the team finally found an opening pair that could bat deep into the innings and capitalise on the field restrictions. The 120-run partnership between Lendl Simmons and Mike Hussey set the platform for the strokemakers in the team – something that was lacking in MI’s campaign until then. And Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard duly obliged with a flourish at the end. The one area of improvement would be the bowlers’ discipline; there were seven wide deliveries bowled in the RR innings.
The head-to-head between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians reads 7-6 in favour of the former. The balance tilts heavily in favour of Kings XI Punjab in matches at Mohali; KXIP have won 3 of their 4 matches against MI at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Kings XI Punjab have realised the highest percentage of runs through boundaries this season. 61.02 percent of the runs scored by KXIP in IPL 2014 have been through hits to and over the fence.
Glenn Maxwell has been dismissed by leg-spinners in his last four innings.
13 of Michael Hussey’s 14 50-plus scores have resulted in victories for the team he’s represented.
Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians take the field next on May 23. KXIP will remain at home and host Rajasthan Royals, while MI head back home and clash with Delhi Daredevils.