As we reach the middle stages of the tournament we are getting a clearer picture of the teams that are looking strong this season. Match number 17 is between two teams that have not had the best tournaments yet. It is the bottom-placed Punjab Kings taking on the shaky Mumbai Indians. This match will be played at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.
Punjab Kings are just not being able to win games. They couldn’t adapt to the slow-paced wickets at the Chepauk stadium. They just crumbled to a mediocre 120 runs against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Punjab really needs to solve the middle order crisis that they are going through. It is just about finding the right combination and Punjab have just not found their perfect 11.
Mumbai Indians have their own set of middle-order problems. They too made a below-par 137 runs which just wasn’t enough. Delhi did struggle a bit to chase it down but that was because of the slowness of the wicket and brilliant bowling by the MI bowlers. Mumbai will certainly look to get back to winning ways.
Rohit Sharma falling early after good starts
KL Rahul showed us why his careful approach is necessary for the team. He has realized that the middle order is weak and therefore the Punjab skipper plays cautiously and saves his precious wicket so that he can stay on till the end. Chris Gayle has failed to score in 3 innings now. His form is certainly a concern for the Punjab Kings. Nicholas Pooran has been dismissed for 3 ducks. Everything seems to go wrong with the Punjab batting and they will hope for a change in fortune against the defending champions. Shahrukh Khan is playing some superb knocks and has secured his position in the side.
Mumbai Indians are also finding it difficult to score runs. Their middle order which played a huge role last season is failing this year. Rohit Sharma is getting the team off to a flier but he is not being able to convert his starts to big scores. Quinton de Kock also has fallen cheaply every time. He seems to be struggling against quality spin bowling which suits the Chennai pitch. MI would want their big hitters Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard to fire more often and take the team to bigger totals.
Mumbai Indians’ bowling still the best
The MI bowling is still one of the strongest in the tournament. If their batsman can fire and get the team to a respectable total the bowlers will do their job and defend the total. Jasprit Bumrah did bowl a few no-balls in the penultimate over but he is still the best death over bowler. Trent Boult was economical as well. Krunal Pandya has been a little expensive and he will certainly look to bounce back with a decent performance.
Punjab Kings’ bowling looks to be in a much better place as compared to their batting. Although they did lose the game against SRH, the bowlers were the bright spot. The Punjab bowlers will ask for a few more runs from the batsman. Fabian Allen was brilliant on the slow Chennai wicket. Their spinners are adapting to the Chepauk pitch and the team will get back to winning ways in no time.
Head to Head: Punjab Kings vs Mumbai Indians
MI won: 14
PBKS won: 12
Their last encounter ended up having two super overs and this time around also we will have lots of entertainment.
Weather and Pitch Report
The weather in Chennai is expected to be clear for a smooth game of cricket. The temperature is expected to be around 34 degrees with 63% humidity. The pitch will provide assistance to the spinners. Teams batting first have won four games but the last two games have been won by the chasing team.
Punjab Kings: They might be tempted to play an extra spinner so Ravi Bishnoi might get a nod for this game
Mumbai Indians: Even after losing the last game they are expected to play the same playing 11
Punjab Kings – KL Rahul (C, WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkane, Deepak Hooda, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Mandeep Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Prabhsimran Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Sarfaraz Khan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith Moises Henriques.
Mumbai Indians – Rohit Sharma (C), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Piyush Chawla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Adam Milne, Chris Lynn, Jayant Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Quinton de Kock, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, Arjun Tendulkar, Marco Jansen, Yudhvir Singh.