24th Match (N), Wankhede, April 10, 2019, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:198) 198/7

Mumbai won by 3 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
83 (31)
Cricinfo's MVP
156.27 ptsImpact List

Middle order a worry for Kings XI Punjab as Mumbai Indians look to improve home record

Since last year, Mumbai Indians have won only four out of nine matches at the Wankhede Stadium

The Preview by Ankur Dhawan

Big picture

Kings XI Punjab return to a venue where KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya brought the jersey swapping ritual to a cricket field. Before that game, Kings XI were in control of their own fate, but defeat that night meant they fell into the proverbial lottery of the IPL, having to depend on other teams to ensure progress into the playoffs.
The Wankhede Stadium itself can be quite a lottery, exemplified by Mumbai Indians' inconsistent record here. Since last year, they have won only four out of nine matches in Mumbai.
Both teams beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous fixtures, but where Mumbai wrought a comeback out of thin air, Kings XI nearly did the opposite, before Rahul held his nerve to take his team home.
After battling form for most of last year in India colours and losing his place in the Test and ODI set-ups, Rahul has emerged as King's XI's highest run-getter this season. Furthermore, he averages an incredible 94.5 against Mumbai playing for Kings XI.
But while the visitors can celebrate the form of their top order, a largely untested middle order will be a worry. Their other concern at a high scoring venue where the fingerspin of R Ashwin - their highest wicket-taker so far - might be nullified by the conditions, is the lack of a sixth bowling option. David Miller loyalists since 2012, will Kings XI leave him out for Moises Henriques to attain the desirable balance for the venue?
Conversely, Mumbai are so well balanced that they are often accused of not utilising some of their players. So far, their middle order has come to the fore, as has their bowling. The openers are yet to fire, but perhaps it's an ominous sign for oppositions that Mumbai are healthily placed in the table without a major contribution from Rohit Sharma or Quinton de Kock.

In the news

Lasith Malinga continues to live two lives. Having led his side Galle to a win in the Super Four Provincial Limited Over Tournament three days back, Malinga was back training at the Wankhede on the eve of the match. A little snag: his replacement Alzarri Joseph produced the best bowling figures in IPL history on debut in the last match. As a result, Malinga's mere availability is unlikely to guarantee him a place in the XI.

Previous meeting

Mumbai faltered with the bat towards the end in Mohali, managing just 56 runs in the last seven overs, despite wickets in hand. On a flat pitch, their eventual total of 176 was gunned down by a strong top-order performance which included forties from Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal - the player of the match - and an unbeaten 71 from KL Rahul.

Likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Joseph, Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendorff
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller/Moises Henriques, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahaman, Ankit Rajpoot

Strategy punt

  • R Ashwin has been flexible with his own introduction into the attack. During the last match at home, he came on once the field was spread. But he faces a curious dilemma in Mumbai, where dew could play a part. If it does, he may want to get some tight overs out of the way with the new ball, a move also merited by the presence of the left-handed de Kock. But if they stick with Mujeeb ur Rahman in the XI, then the Afghan can get the Powerplay out of the way, and Ashwin can target coming on during the middle overs, in particular to have a crack at Kieron Pollard, whom he has dismissed four times in 39 balls, going at a little more than seven an over.
  • Contrary to conventional wisdom, Mumbai Indians have a far better record defending totals at home in the last two years, than chasing them. They have won five of the eight times they have batted first at the Wankhede in the last two years, as opposed to suffering five losses in the nine matches they have chased in this period. Will they stick to their strength or let the reputation of the venue for being a tough defending ground, dictate terms?
  • Stats that matter

    • Of all the bowlers to have bowled 90 or more balls to Rohit Sharma in T20s, Ashwin (and Piyush Chawla) has dismissed him the least number of times: one. While he has taken Chawla for 146 in the 113 balls he has faced from the leggie, against Ashwin, Rohit has been watchful, explained by a strike-rate well under a hundred. In fact, among all bowlers to have bowled 50 or more balls to Rohit, Ashwin has the best economy rate of 5.12, having conceded just 82 from 96 balls.
    • Even though both Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga have kept Chris Gayle tied down, they have collectively dismissed him only thrice in 147 balls. Curiously, Ben Cutting has dismissed Gayle four times, the most for any Mumbai bowler. Cutting, however, has been taken for 63 in 37 balls as well.
    • Before losing by three runs to Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede last year, Kings XI had won three on the trot at the venue, having batted first on each of those occasions. On two of those occasions, Kings XI posted scores in excess of 220 - 226 against Chennai Super Kings in the 2014 playoffs, and 230 against Mumbai Indians in 2017.
    • Win Probability
      MI 100%
      100%50%100%KXIP InningsMI Innings

      Over 20 • MI 198/7

      Kieron Pollard c Miller b Rajpoot 83 (31b 3x4 10x6 81m) SR: 267.74
      Mumbai won by 3 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)
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