MI vs KXIP – Preview: In the race towards the Playoffs Mumbai likely to edge ahead of the Punjabi Kings

The fortunes of the two sides locking horns tonight in Mumbai couldn't be more contrasting . While MI had a hard time last month where they lost a number of close matches, they have had a remarkable turnaround in May. Their opponents KXIP have been subjected to the opposite wherein they have made a mess of their playoff prospects this month even after coasting through April posting one victory after another.

MI have no option but to win today; a loss would throw them out of the competition. A win would bring them back in the top-four. With their healthy Net Run Rate of 0.405 they also shouldn't have any problems in qualification scenarios. It would also mean that the visitors, with their NRR (-0.518) being the worst amongst all teams, will need other match results to go in their favour for reaching the next stage.

In focus

Suryakumar Yadav has settled into the opening role for Mumbai nicely. He has impressed everyone by his lusty blows at the top of the order for MI and remains an automatic pick for the side in tonight's match. The West Indian opener Evin Lewis hasn't had the sort of tournament his side must have expected of him. If he does get to play it might be his last chance to prove his worth to his franchise.

The KXIP captain R Ashwin has gone wicket-less in six of his last seven matches. With doubts persisting over Mujeeb Ur Rahman's availability for tonight's match due to a finger injury, a lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of Ashwin the spinner. However the superlative performance of Andrew Tye must give the skipper some comfort as he prepares to take his side to winning ways.

Team News

Mumbai Indians: Probable XI - 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Suryakumar Yadav, 3 Ishan Kishan (wk), 4 Rohit Sharma (c), 5 JP Duminy/Keiron Pollard, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Mayank Markande, 9 Ben Cutting, 10 Mitchell McClenaghan, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Kings XI Punjab: Probable XI - 1 KL Rahul (wk), 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Karun Nair, 5 Aaron Finch, 6 Marcus Stoinis/Mujeeb ur Rahman, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin (c), 9 Andrew Tye, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Ankit Rajpoot

Pitch and Conditions

Being close to the Arabian Sea means the Wankhede track will have something to offer the pacers at least till the ball is new and hard. The true bounce in the pitch should also assist stroke-players. The weather is supposed to be quite humid with no chance of rain.

Head to Head

MatchesMI WonKXIP Won
211110

Match facts

Date: 16th May 2018

Time: 2000 Hrs (IST)

Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Verdict

Mumbai Indians should come up trumps as KXIP's middle order is unreliable at best.

Tags: IPL , MI , KXIP , Rohit Sharma , R Ashwin

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