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IPL 2020 Preview: All you need to know about KXIP vs MI

We’re back in Abu Dhabi for the first match of the month of October between the Kings XI Punjab and the Mumbai Indians (KXIP vs MI). The Kings will still be contemplating as to what hit them after the Rajasthan Royals managed to pull off the most incredible heist of IPL 2020. On the other hand, the defending champions Mumbai Indians will still be thinking about two points lost as they messed up the Super Over against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous match.

There’s no time in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to think about past mistakes as the schedule is grilling and relentless. These two teams will need to start this match afresh and look to get the two points. These two teams have top batsmen in their batting line-ups and whichever team will bowl better on the given day will hold the edge over the other.

Interestingly, Abu Dhabi is the home ground for the Mumbai Indians and they have played on this ground before but it’ll be the first outing for the Kings on this venue. The head-to-head battle between these two teams looks even-steven. Mumbai have a slight edge over them, having won 13 as compared to 10 by Punjab.

 

KEY BATTLES

KL Rahul vs Jasprit Bumrah

This is the battle between two of the best T20 cricketers India is blessed with, in the current crop. With a fifty and a ton to his name in three innings, KL Rahul has been in sublime form in this tournament so far and is a genuine contender for the Orange Cap award. He likes batting against Jasprit Bumrah and the Mumbai Indians. Rahul has scored 486 runs in 10 innings against MI which includes three fifties and a ton against them and is the most for him against any team in IPL.

He has scored three consecutive fifties against the defending champions and will look to continue his bullish form against MI. Is there another fifty coming our way? You bet it is.

Jasprit Bumrah has 12 wickets to his name in KXIP vs MI matches, which is his 2nd best among all the active IPL teams. Further, his bowling average of 20.33, a strike rate of 18.82 and economy rate of 6.48 stands out against Punjab. His death overs form has been below the high standards Bumrah is capable of and he has looked a wee bit rusty in the opening few matches. He conceded 42 in his four overs in MI’s previous match against RCB and that was only the sixth time that he had conceded more than 10 an over for Mumbai since 2017.

Each time he’s conceded more than 10 an over in the past, though, Bumrah has bounced back strongly. Expect nothing less from ‘Boom-Boom’ in KXIP vs MI.

 

PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell hasn’t got going so far in the 2020 IPL. He has played rash shots and hasn’t capitalised on the situation with the bat so far. He’ll be playing his first match at Abu Dhabi which has been a happy hunting ground for Maxi. His 95 in 2014 against CSK is still the highest ever individual score at the venue.

It’s time for him to step up and show his class. If he gets an opportunity to bat then expect him to score big tonight.

 

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya is playing purely as a batsman in this line-up as he is still recovering from that back injury. His role has changed and that means he needs to take more responsibility with the bat for his team.

 

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

KXIP: KL Rahul (WK) (C), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell

MI: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

 

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