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Mumbai, Kings XI look to put controversies behind, move up the table

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Will Kings XI bring in Mujeeb Ur Rahman? (3:49)

Brad Hodge and Deep Dasgupta predict the starting XIs for the Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians match-up (3:49)

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Their respective first wins this season might have been marred - or overshadowed - by controversy, but Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab will be glad they don't have any alarming issues to address yet.

Mumbai, who came into the tournament with depleted overseas pace stocks, look well-rounded now with Lasith Malinga's inclusion. They have further received a shot in the arm by roping in West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph as Adam Milne's replacement.

On the other hand, Kings XI, who were over-reliant on openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle last year, now look like they have a middle-order that can step up when needed. Last year, their middle order (No. 4 to 7) contributed at an average of just 20 in 13 innings, but this year, in just two games, there has been a remarkable turnaround: they average 84 at a strike rate of 148.7.

Mumbai do have concerns in the middle order, to be fair. They lost five wickets for 24 runs in the middle during the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore and only recovered because of Hardik Pandya, whose counter-attacking 14-ball 32 took them to 187. Similarly, Yuvraj Singh's 35-ball 53 was their only solid middle-order contribution in the 37-run loss to Delhi Capitals in their first game.

After a couple of away games, Kings XI are all set for their first home game of the season; while that's usually a cause for optimism for most teams, and they do have a 51% win record in Mohali, they have lost to Mumbai in the last four encounters at the venue.

Likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Mitchell McClenaghan, 9 Mayank Markande, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Lasith Malinga

Kings XI Punjab: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 KL Rahul (wk), 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Sarfaraz Khan, 5 David Miller (wk), 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Andrew Tye, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Ankit Rajpoot

Strategy punt

  • Chris Gayle and David Miller have an impressive record against Mumbai in the tournament. Gayle averages 41 with five half-centuries, while Miller averages 42.8. So how do you stop these two in-form batsmen? The answer, according to historical data, is Malinga. Gayle has scored just 85 runs in 14 innings in T20s against the fast bowler and has lost his wicket twice to him. Miller averages just 8.8 against Malinga and has been dismissed four times.

  • Short-ball strategy against Gayle? Since IPL 2015, Gayle has lost his wicket six times to short-pitched deliveries.

  • Mujeeb ur Rahman, who was replaced by million-dollar mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy last game, has played just three games in Mohali but has an impressive record. He's picked up 11 wickets and has bowled at an economy of 6.6. Will Kings XI bring him back for this match?

Stats that matter

  • Since IPL 2016, Mumbai have won 80% of the matches when their captain Rohit Sharma has scored 20 or above.

  • Mumbai are just one away from their 100th win in IPL - no team has reached the milestone yet.

  • Gayle is two short of becoming the first batsman to hit 300 sixes in the IPL.

Kings XI 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st53CH GayleKL Rahul
2nd64MA AgarwalKL Rahul
3rd60DA MillerKL Rahul