Big test awaits Mumbai as they face an uber-aggressive Punjab

back icon
12 Apr 2022 | 01:01 PM
authorAakash Sivasubramaniam

Big test awaits Mumbai as they face an uber-aggressive Punjab

Both sides with indifferent form face each other in a colossal contest

In 2015, Mumbai Indians were put under the pump after losses against Punjab Kings (Kings XI Punjab then), Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings in their first four encounters of the season. In 2022, they have repeated the curse, with losses at the hands of Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

But the stark difference was in 2015, they not only went on to make the playoffs but won the title in stunning fashion, going past rivals CSK. However, IPL 2022 is a tough nut to crack, especially considering there are ten contenders for the title. Having said that, if there is one team that would be confident of making the playoffs even at this stage, it would be Rohit Sharma’s side. 

However, in front of them are Punjab Kings, a side that have threateningly transformed themselves for the title. Their brand of cricket is different – it is on your face – and when most of the teams try to put their hands into the flame, they get burnt. Even at their aggressive self, Punjab have made some mistakes, smaller ones, that have cost them two games. 

Will Mumbai figure out their best XI?

One of the biggest talking points thus far in the tournament has been Mumbai’s indifferent team selection. The 26-year-old Singaporean Tim David, who was considered as an MVP buy at the auction has been left out of the playing XI after just the two games in the tournament. While the franchise have stuck with Daniel Sams, the indifferent display from the Australian all-rounder has seen him drop to the bench after the third game. 

While we are unsure on Tymal Mills, who was not in the playing XI for the RCB game, it begs the question: where is Mumbai going with this playing XI? In Dewald Brevis, Mumbai see a batter who can give them the solidarity in the middle-order, allowing the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma and Kieron Pollard to be their natural self. 

Read: Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, IPL 2022, Match 23: Fantasy Preview

However, that has in turn affected their bowling. Mumbai are just ahead of CSK and PBKS in terms of the worst bowling unit in the competition. Murugan Ashwin, the lone spinner, has picked up five wickets, showing the franchise the value of spin. It is in that regard, that they need to mull about a change, bringing either of Fabian Allen or Mayank Markande into the mix. 

Punjab’s tricky situation with Odean Smith

Punjab’s batting approach has been refreshing to watch in this season’s IPL. They know how to time the ball, strike boundaries, clear boundaries and at the same time, make the fullest use of their batting resources. However, the situation around the 25-year-old Windies all-rounder Odean Smith has been tricky. 

Thus far in the competition, Smith has played in four games, with a match-winning contribution with the bat in the franchise’s first game against RCB (25*). Barring that, however, he has figures of 0/52, 1/39, 1/14 and 0/35. While the 1/14 against CSK was mighty impressive, his failure at the death overs is slowly coming to the fore. 

At the death, the all-rounder has conceded 36 runs without snapping a single wicket, leaking runs at 18 RPO. While the trio of Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar and Kagiso Rabada have all been great, Punjab need to figure out how they can get the best out of Odean Smith. Otherwise, they will have to look at Nathan Ellis or Benny Howell, to fill that hole at the death.

How will Punjab’s aggression fare up against Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah’s presence would definitely come as a nightmare for the Punjab Kings, considering that he has picked up 19 wickets against them, averaging just 17.4, his second-best average against an IPL opponent. In three out of the last four encounters against Punjab, Bumrah has picked up at least a two-wicket haul, including a three in the Dubai clash in 2020.

Punjab’s skipper, Mayank Agarwal too doesn’t hold the best of records against Bumrah, with three dismissals against the Indian pacer and a strike-rate of just 43. Bumrah will be integral in this clash, especially considering his attacking nature with the ball, that could fight fire with fire. 

It would be interesting to see how Livingstone, who has struck at a rate of 191 during the tournament fare up against the leader of Mumbai’s pace pack – Bumrah. 

Team Combination and Predicted XI

Punjab have been bolstered by the return of Jonny Bairstow, who debuted for the franchise in their previous game. With that, expect either no changes or just the one change for the Punjab Kings, with Odean Smith’s form being a concern. 

Punjab Kings XI: Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Odean Smith, M Shahrukh Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Vaibhav Arora, Arshdeep Singh

Predicting Mumbai’s playing XI this season has been tough. But considering their weakness, they could very well bring in Fabian Allen or Mayank Markande to strengthen their spin attack. Tymal Mills, who wasn’t in the playing XI for the previous game too could make a return, instead of Basil Thampi

Mumbai Indians XI: Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Dewald Brevis, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Kieron Pollard, Fabian Allen/Mayank Markande, Jaydev Unadkat, Murugan Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Tymal Mills

shareGray Share
Mumbai Indians vs Punjab KingsIndian Premier League, 2022Mumbai IndiansPunjab KingsDaniel SamsTymal MillsSuryakumar YadavOdean SmithMayank AgarwalLiam LivingstoneJasprit Bumrah

Related Articles

IPL 2023 preview: Can Punjab get out of the tox6ic relationship?
Usually Punjab fall apart as the season progresses, but this time around they’re in tatters before a single ball bowled
userAnirudh Suresh
29 Mar 2023
Lucknow eye a rare double win over struggling Mumbai
Lucknow have a strong opportunity to strengthen their claim at the top of the table
userAakash Sivasubramaniam
23 Apr 2022
Mumbai Indians, a victim of their tall benchmark
On Wednesday, Punjab Kings put a mirror in front of Mumbai, exposing their Auction strategy
userAakash Sivasubramaniam
13 Apr 2022
Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, IPL 2022, Match 23: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips that might help you create your fantasy team for Match 23 of IPL 2022 between MI and PBKS staff
12 Apr 2022
Captaincy comes naturally to Shreyas Iyer: Ravi Shastri
A glance at what people who matter have to say staff
30 Mar 2022
Punjab Kings finally shed their conservative approach
A power-hitting 101 from Punjab at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai
userAakash Sivasubramaniam
27 Mar 2022
Punjab’s bewildering tactics overpower assembled talent yet again
Despite carefully assembling the squad, PBKS yet again struggled to bridge the elusive gap
userAakash Sivasubramaniam
08 Oct 2021
Hardik-Pollard combine to end Mumbai’s three-match losing streak
Three games, three losses, Mumbai were in deep trouble but against Punjab, they crossed over the line with ease staff
28 Sep 2021
Wounded Mumbai, a trophy defence and resilient Punjab Kings
While Punjab’s strong bowling dug themselves out of the grave for a win, Mumbai had done the opposite on Sunday
userAakash Sivasubramaniam
27 Sep 2021
Punjab looking to get their house in order
Mumbai's middle-order would be relieved to see the last of their Chepauk leg
userSomesh Agarwal
22 Apr 2021
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
@ 2020 | All rights reserved