Two time IPL champions Mumbai Indians are set to take on Punjab Kings XI at Holkar Stadium, Indore on Thursday. MI have been in phenomenal form and won four of their last five matches in this edition of the Indian Premier League.
Although they lost the first match to Pune Supergiant, they have gelled well in the other matches as a unit to convincingly defeat their opponents.Mumbai's middle and lower order consisting of batsmen like Nitish Rana and all-rounders Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers has emerged as their biggest strength in the season.
Captain Rohit Sharma too showed good form in his team's last match against Gujarat Lions as he scored 40 runs off 29 deliveries. The bowling front too is in good form with the old warhorses Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh leading from the front.
Further, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Mcclenaghan and the Pandya brothers have provided crucial breakthroughs for their team.
On the other hand, it has been a pretty disappointing tournament for the Kings XI Punjab. After displaying phenomenal skills to win their first two matches convincingly against Rising Pune Supergiant and Royal Challengers Bangalore, KXIP lost three in a row and are currently placed fifth in the IPL table with four points.
Although captain Glenn Maxwell, South African import Hashim Amla and Indian domestic sensation Manan Vohra have handled the batting responsibilities well, the rest of the team continues to flounder.
David Miller and Eoin Morgan have failed to fire consistently and wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha too hasn't lived up to expectations. As far as the bowling is concerned, fast bowlers such as Varun Aaron and Mohit Sharma have leaked too many runs to the disadvantage of the team.Axar Patel has been the only positive for Punjab in the bowling front but he needs the support of other bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Aaron, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa and Matt Henry among others.
Both the teams have played 18 matches thus far and are deadlocked at nine wins apiece. However, in the last nine matches, Mumbai has gained a 6-3 lead.
Keeping the current forms of both the teams in mind, Mumbai Indians begin as the firm favourite for the match.However, KXIP have not lost a single match at the Holkar Stadium in Indore this season and they will surely be looking to put their IPL campaign back on track with a win over the in-form MI at their lucky ground.