IPL 2020 Match 13 Preview: KXIP vs MI - With both Punjab and Mumbai underperforming, cracker on cards
Despite losing two out of their three matches in the league, Kings XI Punjab are looking really good this time around and are one of the contenders for the title.
Rahul and Agarwal shine for Punjab
Punjab had a great batting display in their last match as well when they put on as many as 223 runs on the board on a flat wicket at the Sharjah cricket stadium. KL Rahul made a 54-ball 69 but it was Mayank Agarwal who was the star with a 50-ball 106, batting at a strike rate of over 200. Agarwal stuck 10 fours and 7 sixes to take the team to a formidable total.
However, the small boundaries in Sharjah meant that their bowlers struggled to get going. Sheldon Cottrell and Mohammed Shami were expensive, going at over 50 runs each. Shami picked up three wickets but Cottrell lost the plot in his last over and went for five sixes which turned the game on its head.
Chris Jordan in for the expensive Cottrell?
Punjab can consider going in for Chris Jordan in the place of either Sheldon Cottrell or James Neesham. They can also choose to show a bit more faith in their current playing XI. Skipper KL Rahul and head coach Anil Kumble are likely to go with the second option.
Another Rahul masterclass expected
It is a great sign for Punjab that the team, who had been struggling to get their batting right in the last few seasons, have two solid openers in KL Rahul and Mayank Agrawal, both of whom seem to be competing for the orange cap.
Rahul, in particular, looks a class apart and if he can fire, Punjab have the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran and Jimmy Neesham in the middle order to make a mockery of the opposition's bowling attack.
Like Punjab, Mumbai Indians' figures of one victory and two losses from three matches can be misleading. Mumbai suffered a close defeat in the opening fixture of IPL 2020 against Chennai Super Kings and lost their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore in a super over.
The team was down and out of the game at one point but it was some lusty blows from wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard which saw them first tie the match and then lose it in the super over.
Mumbai Indians do have some concerns about their best XI. James Pattinson is going well first up but conceding a lot of runs at the death. Jasprit Bumrah hasn't found his groove yet, and with Hardik Pandya not bowling, it does not leave Rohit Sharma with a lot of options.
That said, with both teams having underperformed in the tournament till now, we are in for cracker.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) - Lokesh Rahul(c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, James Neesham, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi
Mumbai Indians (MI) - Quinton de Kock(wk), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
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