Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Mumbai Indians (MI) both have played eight matches each in this edition. MI have won 6 out of the 8 matches whereas KXIP have won only 2 matches.
This match is going to be played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Head to Head
The Head to Head between these two teams is in favour of Mumbai Indians.
In total, they have played 25 matches out of which MI have won 14 matches while KKR has won only 11.
In the recent four matches in which they were pitted against each other, apart from their match this season, MI has won 3 out of the 4 matches.
In the first leg of this edition, MI overwhelmed KXIP by 48 runs.
Top Players of KXIP and MI
C Gayle: In the previous match, the Universe boss played his first game of the season against SRH and he already has made an impression. He scored 53 runs off 45 balls which includes six 6's in it. Against MI, he has scored 640 runs at an average of 42.66 and a strike rate of 135.02.
KL Rahul: He tops the list of run makers by quite a margin, out of the eight innings that he has batted, he has scored 50+ in 5 innings, his record speaks for himself. He has been in unbelievable form with the bat this season. His record against MI is impressive as well, he has scored 503 runs at an average of 62.87. He failed to score runs against MI in the first leg, can MI bowlers stop him again is going to be interesting to see.
M Agarwal: The player second on the list of most runs scored is Agarwal. The top two batsmen for KXIP have been the backbone of their batting line up. Apart from his consistency, another fantastic stat about M Agarwal is that he has a strike rate of 161.18 this season. Overall, he doesn't have a great record against MI, he averages a meagre 20 against them.
M Shami: He has picked up 12 wickets this season, apart from the match against SRH he has picked up a wicket in each of his matches. If he can remove R Sharma, Q de Kock early, it could turn out to be a very tough contest.
R Sharma: He played second fiddle to Q de Kock in the match against KKR to score 35 runs. He has looked in touch whenever he has come out to bat for MI. He is scoring runs at his usual strike rate of 130 odd and also at his usual average of 31. He was the top scorer against KXIP in the first edition, he would want to repeat his feat today. Overall against KXIP, he has scored at an average of 34.73 and a strike rate of 142.85 which is better if compared to his overall stats as a batsman.
K Pollard: He hasn't batted much in the last few innings however he is MI's most inform batsman. He has scored at a strike rate of 189.13 this year, he also tops the list of batsman when it comes to batting average, so far he is dismissed only once in this tournament.
J Bumrah: Indian team's premier fast bowler Bumrah is the highest wicket-taker for his team. He has picked up 12 wickets at a strike rate of 16. As expected from him, he has been extremely effective with the bowl for MI. The last time MI played at Dubai, he gave away 42 runs without picking up a wicket. Bumrah must be knowing this and would want to improve on his record in this match.
Q de Kock: Like other batsmen in this team, he himself is in great touch. He demolished KKR in the previous match; scoring 78* runs at a very good strike rate. The only positive for KXIP about de Kock is that he got out on a duck in the previous match against them..
H Pandya: He like Pollard and K Pandya has looked in supreme touch with the bat whenever he has got an opportunity to bat. He is yet to play a big inning with the bat but he is striking at an impressive strike rate of 159 for Mumbai. Looking at the records of their premium players, MI looks extremely strong on paper.
Likely Playing 11
Other Players to watch out for
I Kishan (MI): He was arguably the best batsmen against RCB and might end up smoking the bowlers today as well.
R Chahar (MI): This MI leg-spinner is pretty good he doesn't get the recognition he deserves. He was stupendous against KKR in the previous match, he picked up 2 wickets giving away only 18 runs.
R Bishnoi(KXIP): What Chahar does for MI, Bishnoi does for KXIP, he comes in bowls his overs and does a decent job silently. It would be interesting to see how he bowls today.
M Ashwin(KXIP): He bowled splendidly against RCB in the previous match, he picked up 2 wickets and gave away only 23 runs in his four overs. Overall, he has played just 3 matches this season yet has picked up 6 wickets. He didn't play in the first leg match against MI, it would be interesting to see how he bowls against MI.
To conclude, based on form MI are favourites for this match but we can't count KXIP out as well because players like C Gayle can change the match on its head on their day. All in all, a perfect masala match to watch today, two smooth looking batsmen (KL Rahul, R Sharma) are gonna take the crease today. I am ready with my popcorn are you ready with yours?