An interesting battle awaits on Thursday between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians who have made similar beginning to the IPL 2020. Both the teams have lost a close game while defending a total, a huge win while batting first and a defeat in Super over following a dramatic chase. Considering the batsmen in both line-ups and their form, we could be in for yet another high-scoring match in Abu Dhabi.
What will be KXIP plans for MI openers?
The Mumbai Indians’ opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock haven’t been consistent in this tournament yet. In the game against KXIP, the duo will be up against Mohammed Shami and Sheldon Cottrell who have done well with the new ball thus far. However, KXIP’s strength of bowling pace with the new ball but it could well play into the hands of MI’s opening pair. Both Rohit and De Kock have been scoring at 45+ average and 135+ strike rate against pace in the powerplay since the start of 2019.
In the same period, both the batsmen have struggled against spin bowling, especially the leg spinners. Rohit’s record against off-spin is mainly depended on his intent as both his dismissals against this type came when he was caught in the deep. Hence, bringing in Mujeeb Ur Rahman might not be best chances to take. However, they could bring in Ravi Bishnoi for a couple of overs as both Rohit and De Kock have not faced the youngster yet.
How can MI stop Rahul?
Mumbai Indians could well fall short of plans if KL Rahul steps up yet again. The KXIP captain has a great record against MI and its bowlers as he struck fifties in each of his previous three innings against them. He hasn’t been aggressive of late as his strike rate is only 120 since the start of 2019 compared to 150+ in 2018 where he smashed some quick-fire fifties. Rahul has been conservative against pace during field restrictions recording strike rates of 105.1 and 87.5 respectively against right-arm and left-arm pacers.
Mumbai team might not try bowling spin in the powerplay against the likes of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Rather, they can be seen using their attack of three International pacers. Rahul could come up with more intent against MI as his knock against the Royals indirectly played a role in his team’s defeat. Hence, the best chance for Mumbai Indians against Rahul on Thursday seems to be containing his scoring opportunities early on and wait for him to make a mistake.
Can Bumrah bounce back?
Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t been at his best in the IPL 2020 as he conceded over 40 runs against CSK and RCB. During MI’s victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, Bumrah had three brilliant overs first up before Cummins smashed four sixes in the 4th over. The MI pace leader could find his mojo back on Thursday as no KXIP batsman except KL Rahul has done well against Jasprit in the IPL. While Rahul has scored 82 runs against Bumrah getting out only once, Maxwell has been dismissed four times in five meetings.
(Stats as on September 30, 2020)
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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