Two Super Over heart-breaks and a win each place KXIP and MI on the same page even as the upcoming contest at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi promises an exciting showdown between India’s two frontline pacers, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
IPL 2020 POINTS TABLE
After losing their opening match to Delhi Capitals in super over, KXIP came back strongly, courtesy KL Rahul’s century, to deflate Royal Challengers Bangalore by a whopping 97-run margin. In the third match, Mayank Agarwal came up with a flamboyant hundred that almost took them to the brink of a second straight win before a blinder from Rahul Tewatia pulled off a heist for Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah on Sunday.
By now, both the teams must have surely learnt one thing: no total is safe one at any of the three venues in the UAE which boasts of batting-friendly pitches. And with the dew playing a major part towards the later part, the advantage lies with the chasing side.
Fresh from a record 183-run opening stand, Rahul and Mayank would be expected to set the tone for the Kings as their batting card looks more or less settled with the two overseas buys, Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell, fully equipped to go ballistic.
What if the top order fails? KXIP’s middle order comprising the likes of Karun Nair, James Neesham and Sarfaraz Khan, is yet to be tested and in case the Mumbai bowlers manage to get the top order early, it could bring some discomfort to the KXIP dugout.
The bowling department have been led well by Shami so far, but Sheldon Cottrell would look to start afresh, leaving behind the nightmarish treatment meted out by a marauding Tewatia in the previous encounter. The leg spin duo of Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin has been pretty decent.
On the other hand, the defending champions will be pleased with their batting effort from the previous two outings. Half centuries from the young Ishan Kishan and Keiron Pollard in the last match als0 meant that their middle order has been tested.
Mumbai would, however, hope for an improved show from the Pandya brothers (Hardik and Krunal) in both the departments, and more sting in the pace attack led by Bumrah.