PBKS vs MI IPL 2021 Preview: Mumbai's misfiring middle-order presents chance for Punjab to get out of rut
Given that the match will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, spin will play a major role.
Spinners come in for quicks
With both teams playing their last match in Chennai as well, they strengthened their spin department. Punjab Kings brought in Fabian Allen while Mumbai Indians replaced Adam Milne with off spinner Jayant Yadav.
Punjab Kings dropped Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith in their last match. There is a clear pattern as to how teams are thinking. With Chennai offering a slow pitch, teams do not see a lot of success in employing quick bowlers, which is why the likes of Milne, Richardson and Meredith got the axe.
Instead, even medium pace bowlers like Moises Henriques, who bowl a lot of cutters into the surface, were preferred.
Teams delicately placed
Punjab Kings, like the last season, find themselves in an unwanted situation, having lost 3 out of 4 matches. They have now slipped to the bottom of the points table.
Mumbai Indians are nowhere close to their best but have still managed to eke out 2 victories on the back of superb bowling efforts. Even in their last match against Delhi Capitals, when their batsmen managed only 137, despite getting a good start, it was their bowlers who made a match out of it.
MI bowling on point, time for batsmen to step up
Trent Boult conceded just 23 runs from his 4 overs. Spinners Jayant Yadav and Rahul Chahar were also brilliant, bowling at less than 7.5 RPO and picking up one wicket each.
There is no reason why the Mumbai batting cannot turn a corner and there is enough experience and firepower in there to make the shift. Rohit Sharma has shown glimpses of his best but has not been able to convert that into big scores. Same is the case with Suryakumar Yadav.
Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard have not been really able to kick off in the tournament till now and even if a couple of them fire, Mumbai Indians are capable of posting 200 runs on a regular basis.
The team is not expected to make any changes to their playing XI. They would hope that Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah get them off to a good start and spinner Rahul Chahar sustains his form.
More questions than answers for Punjab
Punjab Kings find themselves in a rut with things not working out for them. They suffered another batting collapse in the last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, getting bowled out for just 120.
While their batting is still fine, it is their bowlers who will have to step up. Mohd Shami is expected to lead the way.
Have a look at the match predictions below and check out the latest cricket betting odds here before deciding on your pick on this match.
Who will win the toss? PBKS
Who will win? MI
Who will score most runs? Ishan Kishan (MI), Mayank Agarwal (PBKS)
Who will take most wickets? Trent Boult (MI), Mohammed Shami (PBKS)
Most Sixes? Kieron Pollard (MI), Nicholas Pooran (PBKS)
Here are the predicted playing XIs:
Mumbai Indians - Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Punjab Kings - KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Fabian Allen, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
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