Mumbai lock horns with Punjab in pivotal clash

We aren’t one of the champion sides’ KXIP captain Ashwin says he expected his team to struggle

Mumbai will once again rely on opener Suryakumar Yadav, who has been consistent with the bat, amassing 473 runs from 12 innings.

Mumbai Indians have an impressive net run-rate to brag about, but their middle order has been a grain in the shoes as of late.

But Mumbai need the other batters down the order, especially skipper Rohit to contribute big.

Post the embarrassing loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last game, KXIP skipper Ashwin was extremely disheartened on his team's performance.

MI's bowling too has been a worry. After opening stand of 36 runs between openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, RCB bowlers completely dominated the match. All three may come up with a short-ball attack on the rival openers as Umesh Yadav showed with great success last night for RCB. In his likely absence, Ashwin and Axar Patel need to take up the responsibility to take wickets in the middle overs.

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"We knew we had to win each of our last four league matches".

In the beginning of the League, Kings XI Punjab were at the top of the tables with five win out of six matches and since then, things are all going south for the KXIP. A fully packed Holkar Stadium in Indore cheered for RCB as much as they did for Punjab and perhaps that motivated the Bangalore Brigade which won in grand style. After bagging five wins out of first six games, they managed to clinch just one from the rest six matches.

KXIP succumbed to pace in their last match against RCB while Mumbai has led with pace this season, with Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan taking 43 wickets between them.

In the bowling department, the home side will be demanding some crafty manoeuvres with the ball from Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and left arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan to contain KXIP's KL Rahul and Chris Gayle. They are now in danger of missing out on playoff berth if they fail to win the final two games. In the history of the IPL, never has a side qualified with just 12 points in 14 games have made the playoffs but a new piece of history can be made this year if everything goes according to this article.

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