IPL: Out-of-Sorts Mumbai Indians Host High-Flying Kings XI Punjab

Mumbai Indians will hope to contain the likes of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller and expect a change in fortunes when they host unbeaten table-toppers Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

updated: May 03, 2014 12:26 IST
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Mumbai: Title-holders Mumbai Indians would be keen to end their dismal five-match losing streak but the task is easier said than done as they will clash against table-toppers Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. (Schedule | Points Table)

The stadium was a mini fortress which could not be breached in eight attempts last year as Mumbai went all the way to clinch the title for the first time. With the IPL action shifting to India after the initial phase was held in the UAE, MI would be eager to turn around their floundering fortunes after suffering five straight defeats in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. (Pollard's return to form pleases Mumbai coach John Wright)

Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, would be equally earnest to ensure that their five-match winning streak in the UAE is not snapped by last year's champions. Punjab have batted, bowled and fielded extremely well in the first phase of the T20 League and another victory at the cost of the struggling MI would enhance their top-four chances which are already bright. (Is presence of Tendulkar, Ponting 'harming' Mumbai Indians? Wonders Dean Jones)

It has been Mumbai's batting, more than their bowling, which has caused their slump thus far in the tournament. MI have tried out a few opening combinations and failed miserably with captain Rohit Sharma, his Mumbai Ranji Trophy teammate Aditya Tare, former Australia cricketer Mike Hussey and new signing Ben Dunk, also an Aussie, all failing to get going.

The middle-order too has performed poorly, barring the last game against Sun Risers Hyderabad at Dubai when Kieron Pollard at last found form with a blistering knock of 78 off only 48 balls with six sixes and three fours. But the powerfully built West Indian all-rounder's stupendous effort went in vain as MI slumped to a 15-run defeat chasing SRH's challenging score of 172. For MI to get their floundering campaign on track, all the top-order batsmen need to find form quickly.

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