KL Rahul’s return to form has buoyed Kings XI Punjab and they notched a comfortable victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday.
The Karnataka opener was prolific yet again with an unbeaten 71 in the six-wicket victory at Mohali.
This season, only one of Rahul’s half-centuries have gone in vain with the batsman accumulating 217 runs at a strike rate of 122.59.
Up against a formidable Mumbai Indians outfit at the Wankhede on Wednesday, Kings will be reliant on Rahul and Gayle to delivers. On a pitch that will be good for batting, the spinners in Rohit Sharma’s squad will be key to their success.
Mumbai were brilliant against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday as another West Indian came to the fore and made you ‘remember the name’. Alzarri Joseph turned an overnight sensation with figures of six for 12 as MI defended 137 against Warner and co.
Joseph could be the shot in the arm Mumbai need as, since 2018, Jasprit Bumrah has been the only stand out performer at the death, receiving negligible help from the rest.
Mumbai haven’t been the worst between overs 16 and 20 but they are by no means among the top and with the likes of David Miller and a rejuvenated Sarfaraz Khan in the Kings XI ranks, tightening up is something they will look to do.
As admirable as his leadership skills have been this year, Ravichandran Ashwin has been bowling himself in the Powerplays with renewed confidence. The wily off-spinner hasn’t been amongst the wickets but possesses an impressive dot ball percentage and will surely look to stifle Mumbai’s top order.
Injury updates: There was an injury scare for Kings XI when Mayank Agarwal hurt himself while fielding against the Sunrisers, but fears were allayed when he strode out to bat and struck a fine 50.
For Mumbai, Mayank Markande has been nursing an injury and Rahul Chahar has stepped up in his place. After Chahar’s impressive show against SRH, it is highly doubtful that even a fit Markande can keep him out of the team.
MI: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Alzarri Joseph, Jason Behrendorff
KXIP: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ankit Rajpoot/Murugan Ashwin