Two teams with similar fortunes of having lost two games each and won just a game, KXIP and MI would be desperate to go one upon each other as they clash in Abu Dhabi on October 1. Both the teams suffered a heart-breaking loss one at the hands of RR while the other lost out to RCB.
KXIP- L, W, L, W, L
Results won't reflect the fact that KXIP should have probably won all their first three games but that's not how sports operate. You have to finish the business till it's done and dusted. In the first game, the Kings failed to score one runs off final three deliveries while in the last game, they couldn't defend 51 runs off the final three overs, while the game against RCB was as complete and one-sided win for them as you would see. It takes a lot of character and resilience to rise from such defeats as they can completely shatter your confidence. Coming up against the defending champions, KL Rahul's men will have a lot to do.
MI- L, W, L, W, W
Just like Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians are also coming off from a gut-wrenching loss against RCB, where they did the unthinkable to score 201 runs after being 78 for 4 on back of Kishan and Pollard's brilliance chasing 202 runs. They lost the game in the Super Over and will need to better their death bowling and top-order performances if they have to trump the Kings. Mumbai lost both the games in which Rohit Sharma failed to deliver. The Pandya brothers also need to come good as they are trump-cards for the side. Just like KXIP, MI have also won one and lost two games so far in the 2020 IPL.
Kings XI Punjab- KL Rahul
KL Rahul faced a fair bit of flak for his 54-ball-69 in a game where 224 runs were chased. After starting slow, unlike the RCB game, he failed to finish with a flourish. But for every player, there is a blue-eyed team that they love facing. For Rahul that is the best team in the lucrative league- Mumbai Indians. The Kings skipper has 486 runs against MI at an average of 69.43, his best against any side in the IPL and a strike-rate of 130.65. Having already made 222 runs in three games at 111 this year, the stylish batsman will look to continue his juggernaut.
Mumbai Indians - Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan played the knock of his life against RCB as he made a fabulous 58-ball-99 to tie the game as MI lost the game eventually in the Super Over. The 22-year-old hit as many as nine sixes in his knock. But a lot of eyeballs were raised when Kishan didn't come out to bat in the Super Over as he was too tired after his marathon knock. Given how good his knock was as unwarranted criticism as it may seem but he would need to churn out these runs consistently as flashes of brilliance don't help you play for India. But having worked hard on his game, Kishan is a man on mission, out there to prove his credentials as a wicket-keeper batsman and throw his bat in the ring of talented wicket-keepers in India.
Kings XI Punjab- Ravi Bishnoi
As early as it may look to call him a potential Indian player, Ravi Bishnoi has certainly got the temperament, character and fight of an international player. You can make out certain players like to be in midst of the battle when things are unfavourable and you require champions to step up, with Bishnoi, that's the thing which stand out, if you ask me. In a game where 224 runs were chased on a small Sharjah ground with even flatter wicket by RR, the young leggie ended with figures of 0/34 to further enhance his reputation after having taken three wickets against RCB and a figure of 1/22 against a dangerous looking Delhi Capitals in the opening game.
Mumbai Indians - Jasprit Bumrah
The thing with geniuses of the game is they know the art of bouncing back from the ashes. Hailed as the best death bowler in the world, AB de Villiers taught Bumrah a tough lesson as the Mumbai pacer leaked 35 runs in his final two overs after giving away just seven in first two overs. In the game against KKR as well, Pat Cummins had smashed four maximums against Bumrah in an over. But in the Super Over, with his vicious Yorkers and well-targeted bumpers, he showed signs of returning back to his best. And one must never underestimate a lion especially if you think he is sleeping, the Indian fast bowler has a good record against KXIP as he has scalped 12 wickets in 10 games at an economy rate of 6.48.
KXIP- KL Rahul (C & WK), Agarwal, Nair, Maxwell,Sarfaraz, Neesham, Pooran, M Ashwin, Shami, Cottrell, Bishnoi.
MI- Rohit (C), de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Kishan, Hardik, Pollard, Krunal, Pattinson, Boult, Chahar, Bumrah.
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
When to Watch: Oct 1, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)