May 15, 2018
By MI Media
We have two games to go. And we need to win them both in order to be in contention for a place in the last four. Our opponents on Wednesday are Kings XI Punjab. It’s also our last home game before we fly to the Capital to play Delhi Daredevils in our 14th and final league match on Sunday afternoon. KXIP have lost four of their last five matches. And we go into this encounter in much better form and momentum, although some of it was lost during the course of that Jos Buttler special. We are in a position to do the double against KXIP. We won at a canter in Indore 12 days ago, so there’s no reason why we can’t do better at home. The boys are upbeat. Let’s get this done.
In The Spotlight
Suryakumar Yadav has to bat on and on. When he does that, he gives us a great chance of posting big totals as well as chasing targets. With 473 runs in 12 outings, he has been our most consistent performer this season. His tally also makes him the most successful uncapped Indian batsman across seasons. Paul Valthaty had scored 463 runs in 2011. Yadav overtook him in the last game. Given the form that he is in, the right-hander is best-placed to take us further. He has no trouble facing pace or spin, can defend and attack at will, has all the shots in the book and is high on confidence. Let’s just hope all this falls into place once again. His top score this season is 72. Can he get a really, really big one? Go, SKY!
Rohit Sharma has been quiet for a while. That said, performing in games like these has made him the champion batsman and captain that he is. It doesn’t really matter where he bats, especially because he has delivered at different slots this season. What we need from our skipper is an impactful knock. And, yes, he needs just 33 runs to become only the second player after Suresh Raina to score 300-plus in each of the 11 seasons of the tournament.
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul is in prime form. His 558 runs put him on No. 2 spot behind Rishabh Pant. Rahul made only 24 — 32 fewer than his average this season — when KXIP hosted MI in Indore. The right-hander will surely hope to make amends in this crunch encounter.
R Ashwin has just six wickets in 12 games. Yes, he has the added responsibility of leading the side and he has done pretty well for a first-timer. But Ashwin the bowler has not performed according to expectations. The bounce offered by the Wankhede strip should encourage Ashwin.
Jasprit Bumrah vs Chris Gayle
This is a heavyweight tussle. In Indore, Gayle scored just two runs off the seven deliveries Bumrah bowled to him. Gayle went on to make a 40-ball 50 but was uncharacteristically, yet understandably, circumspect against Bumrah. The pacer knows how to keep the big man quiet. Can he do one better and get him out early?
Andrew Tye vs Hardik Pandya
This is another almighty duel. Tye tops the charts with 20 wickets. And Hardik is right behind with 18. Apart from that, Hardik will also get to face Tye, most likely in the death overs. Hardik has been effective with he bat in the last few games. This contest will make for absorbing viewing.
Head to Head
Last 5 Matches
MI have four of the last five matches.