INDORE: People of Indore – with the Marathi influence on the city – like to believe they live in “Little Mumbai”. It is way closer to Mumbai than it is to any city in Punjab. Yet Mumbai Indians come to Indore as the away team looking to survive in the tournament, playing form team, Kings XI Punjab.
With five wins in seven matches, Kings XI are not too far from the playoffs, but they are coming off a week-long break. Mumbai, meanwhile, will want to get off the treadmill of defeat; they need to win every match from now.
It is well reported that the last few balls of an innings, or game, have cost Mumbai. Three times they have lost in the last over of the match, in another, they bowled a bad last ball for 13 runs, which proved to be a bridge too far when they chased. There is no room for any allowances now.
This will be a contest between a side looking to make use of every small resource available to it and a side so rich with resources it can afford to have a surplus player in its XI in the hope that when he comes good, he wins them a match off his own bat. Kings XI have been a revelation, Mumbai are looking to rediscover themselves.
With a one-week break behind them, Kings XI should have a fit and hungry Chris Gayle at the top of the order.
Kieron Pollard is precariously placed in Mumbai’s XI. A match after he was finally dropped, the West Indian made an unsuccessful return to the side, scoring a run-a-ball 13. There is uncertainty around Evin Lewis as well considering his wrist injury.
If Mumbai opens with Rohit Sharma, they could force Mujeeb ur Rahman – leg spin v Rohit is always a bowler-friendly match-up – to bowl sooner than Kings XI would want him to bowl.
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 KL Rahul (wk), 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Karun Nair, 5 Aaron Finch, 6 Manoj Tiwary, 7 R Ashwin (capt.), 8 Andrew Tye, 9 Barinder Sran, 10 Ankit Rajpoot, 11 Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mumbai Indians: 1 Suryakumar Yadav, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Ishan Kishan (wk), 4 Rohit Sharma (capt.), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Ben Cutting, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Mayank Markande, 11 Jasprit Bumrah