NEW DELHI: The door to the 2017 IPL play-offs is still ajar for Kings XI Punjab, thanks to a wonderful performance in the field at Eden Gardens on Tuesday highlighted by Mohit Sharma’s death-overs bowling, debutant Rahul Tewatia’s beguiling legspin and Axar Patel’s excellent catching and run-out of Shaun Marsh.
After three successive wins, KXIP’s momentum was momentarily stalled with defeat to the relegated Gujarat Lions, but by beating Kolkata Knight Riders the franchise’s play-off hopes remain intact. They have 12 points from 12 matches with two games to go – Thursday’s clash with table-topper Mumbai Indians followed by one with third-placed Rising Pune Supergiant who have 16 points and can make the play-offs with one more win. It is another must-win for Glenn Maxwell’s unit, who can take immense confidence from having beaten KKR in their own den.
Hosts Mumbai have a two-point lead over KKR, with one more game to play following this match, and will want to win to move further away from Nos 2, 3 and 4. They lost their last match to Sunrisers Hyderabad and would like a few key players to regain top form ahead of the play-offs.
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Date: May 11, 2017
Time: 20:00 IST
Weather: Hazy and in the low-30s, with 76% humidity.
Nitish Rana’s scores have trailed off after an explosive first half of the season, but Mumbai will want to boost his confidence for the play-offs, so no changes are expected.
Probable XI: 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Rohit Sharma (capt), 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Harbhajan Singh, 8 Karn Sharma, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Swapnil Singh’s two overs cost 19 against KKR, and given the nature of the Wankhede surface the management is better off going for a fast bowler, someone like Varun Aaron. However, that would lengthen the tail, which could hurt KXIP.
Probable XI: 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 5 Glenn Maxwell (capt), 6 Axar Patel, 7 Swapnil Singh/Varun Aaron, 8 Rahul Tewatia, 9 Matt Henry, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Sandeep Sharma
– Despite being No 1, Mumbai have not batsman in the top ten this season. Their most productive batsman is Nitish Rana with 321 runs.
– After Hashim Amla (420), KXIP’s next best batsman is Maxwell with 263 runs.
Head to head record: MI 10 – KXIP 9