Win-hungry KXIP face desperate Mumbai
Kings XI Punjab, who were supposed to have qualified by now, are still struggling in the “unsafe” zone due to their overdependence on the openers. After picking up five wins in their first six matches, KXIP suffered five losses in the next six games and are on a three-match losing streak, the last one being a ten-wicket thrashing handed out by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The men led by Ashwin will lock horns with Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday (May 16). Mumbai also go into their last home-game game licking the wounds of a 7-wicket defeat against Rajasthan Royals, which ended a crucial three-match winning streak for the Mumbai-based franchise.
Both the teams have had a contrasting start to their campaigns and both started a new chapter when they met last time at Indore. MI had sealed that encounter by 6 wickets, when KXIP were had become like an irremovable part of the elite club. However, after 12 matches, both are on the same page and would like to go past each other to book the remaining two playoff berths that are up for grabs.
Mumbai, with five wins from ten games, are in a must-win situation in both of their next two matches against KXIP and Delhi Daredevils, respectively. On the other hand, KXIP would also like to move to a safer position as they have a tough challenge ahead when they meet Chennai Super Kings in their last game.
One positive in the MI camp is that they have backed the same squad that had got them three wins on the bounce before the last defeat. They are likely to keep up with that trend unless there's an injury concern at the eleventh hour.
Probable XI: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah.
Kings XI Punjab
Marcus Stoinis could make way for Mujeeb if the Afghan is fit to play again. The rest of the squad is likely to remain the same.
Probable XI: Lokesh Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot.
KXIP will have revenge on their minds against the team that had thrown them into a miserable round. They would be desperate to end that miserable run by putting an end to MI’s playoff dreams.
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