Match 42 of the Indian Premier League promises to be a blockbuster as the Mumbai Indians take on Punjab Kings in an evening encounter at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
While Mumbai will enter this high-voltage clash after a 54-run defeat against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab will step onto the field riding high on confidence after their five-run win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In the 27 matches played thus far, Mumbai are marginally ahead with 14 wins in the head-to-head comparison. However, the Punjab outfit has dominated in the recent past with three wins out of their last five encounters, including a nine-wicket win in the first leg of the competition.
Overall: Matches – 27 | MI – 14 wins | PBKS – 13 wins
Last five matches: MI – 1 wins | PBKS – 3 wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
In the eight innings played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, the pace bowlers dominated the proceedings. They picked up 29 wickets with an average ball per wicket ratio of 18.4 compared to 13 scalps with 25.5 as the average balls per ratio.
The average first innings score at the venue since 2018 has been around the 160-run mark. In the last game, Chennai Super Kings chased down a target of 172 runs in a last-ball thriller against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
One of the most prolific players in this edition of the IPL, KL Rahul, has been in sublime form, amassing 401 runs in nine games at an average of 57.28 and a strike rate of 135.01. The skipper of the Punjab side has single-handedly shouldered the bulk of the responsibility and will be the key player in this much-awaited encounter. The last time these two sides locked horns, Rahul anchored the innings with an unbeaten 60 to guide the team to a comprehensive win.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Rahul could score 29-43 runs against MI
Quinton de Kock is one of the mainstays in the batting unit of the Mumbai Indians. While the wicketkeeper-batter has not set the competition on fire in this edition, he showcased glimpses of his form with a well-compiled half-century against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
With the middle order struggling for runs, the team will be heavily reliant on their South African international to propel the side to a massive first inning total or lay a solid foundation in the run chase.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Quinton de Kock could score 26-38 runs against PBKS
In this much-awaited contest, Jasprit Bumrah will be the key to Mumbai's fortunes. With 14 wickets in 10 matches, he is third in the list of leading wicket-takers this season behind Harshal Patel and Chris Morris. Bringing in years of international experience, skipper Rohit Sharma will look to his senior bowler to create inroads in the opposition batting unit by picking up early wickets.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Bumrah could pick up 2-3 wickets against PBKS
One of the significant reasons for Punjab's dominance in the batting department is the opening combination of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. While most of the focus has been on the skipper, Agarwal has silently gone about his business and scored 332 runs at an average of 41.30 and a strike rate of 142.48 this season.
Currently placed sixth in the list of most runs scored by the players, the right-hander will look to add onto that tally and help the team with a match-winning performance.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Agarwal could score 42-64 runs against MI