Both teams are off and running in IPL 12, each has a win to their name and is now looking to build some momentum in the first half of the tournament. A loss against Kolkata shouldn’t have a major impact on the Kings XI, they’ve produced solid performances in their two games. Mumbai’s dominance against RCB continued yesterday as skipper Rohit Sharma and star bowler Jasprit Bumrah led by example to help register their opening win of the tournament.
Kings XI Punjab
The cheap loss of Punjab’s opening pair at the Eden Gardens proved costly in the end, the Knight Riders victorious by 28 runs despite fifties from Mayank Agarwal and David Miller. Kings XI just can’t afford to lose both Chris Gayle and KL Rahul early in the innings, they’re on big money for a reason and must live up to the hype. Gayle’s efforts in this seasons IPL can’t be faulted as of yet, unfortunately the same can’t be said about his opening partner. Rahul’s dominance in 2018 with the bat hasn’t translated into 2019, he’s scored just 5 runs from his two outings and looks out of sorts at the moment. On the flip side, it’s been good to see the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan and even Mandeep Singh step up in the absence of Rahul. The addition of South African six-hitting specialist David Miller has added a lot more depth to the batting line-up, the 29-year-old’s unbeaten 59 in Kolkata was a sign of things to come. The only major threat Punjab has to watch out for in Mumbai’s bowling attack is Jasprit Bumrah, the rest have been relatively expensive in IPL 12.
Punjab aren’t without their own problems either, they made an astounding three changes to their bowling attack from the first match which was a big surprise considering Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Ankit Rajpoot bowled relatively well and picked up two wickets each. While their three inclusions picked up three wickets between them, they all conceded 9+ runs an over. Ravi Ashwin was smoked to all parts in his four overs against the Knight Riders who took a liking to his bowing, he may be forced to bring back one of Rajpoot or Mujeeb as another wicket taking option. Mohammed Shami has been serviceable in his two outings with his fast-mediums, but not exactly effective with just one wicket to his name. They’ll need to find wickets from a couple of individuals if they’re to keep the Mumbai Indians at bay.
A result that could have gone either way in the end, the Mumbai Indians kept their cool and managed to cling onto victory against a strong-finishing RCB. The impressive striking of AB de Villiers managed to get a hold of Hardik Pandya and Lasith Malinga who both got pumped into the stands amongst the spectators. In the end, Lasith Malinga’s death bowling in the last over won the visitors the game. After injuring himself in the opening match, speedster Jasprit Bumrah made a quick recovery and delivered a spectacular bowling spell of 3/20 off four overs. It would be promising for Mumbai to see their fast bowlers stepping up, Mitch McClenaghan also picked up 3/40 against Delhi prior to this match. Leggy Mayank Markande’s inclusion was a good move, he troubled de Villiers and also picked up the wicket of Parthiv Patel. It will be fascinating to see if Mumbai stick with the combination of Bumrah, McClenaghan and Malinga, three specialist quicks in an attack featuring two spinners and a seam bowling all-rounder seems a little excessive.
While Mumbai’s batting line-up looks ominous on paper, they haven’t exactly delivered a knockout punch as of yet which could be seen as either a positive or negative. One thing’s for sure, and that’s the six-hitting ability Yuvraj Singh has brought to the 2019 IPL. Striking at 161.70 for the tournament, the beloved Indian veteran could be Mumbai’s lethal weapon they were looking for in the middle order. Rohit Sharma was finally able to put an innings of continuity together, a well-constructed 48 paved the way for the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj and Hardik Pandya who all produced fiery-little cameos. A big score is surely on the horizon for wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, he’s made starts in both matches but just hasn’t been able to go on after looking threating with the willow. The sky is the limit for this team, they’ve won three IPL titles in the past six seasons giving them a stunning conversion rate in the playoffs.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Kings XI Punjab
- Chris Gayle
- Mayank Agarwal
- David Miller
- Andrew Tye
Wildcard pick – Ankit Rajpoot
Top 4 fantasy picks – Mumbai Indians
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Rohit Sharma
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Quinton de Kock
Wildcard pick – Krunal Pandya
Kings XI Punjab (possible) – 1. KL Rahul (wk) 2. Chris Gayle 3. Mayank Agarwal 4. Sarfaraz Khan 5. David Miller 6. Mandeep Singh 7. Ravi Ashwin © 8. Hardus Viljoen/Mujeeb Ur Rahman 9. Varun Chakravarthy/Ankit Rajpoot 10. Andrew Tye 11. Mohammed Shami.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Quinton de Kock (wk) 2. Rohit Sharma © 3. Suryakumar Yadav 4. Yuvraj Singh 5. Kieron Pollard 6. Hardik Pandya 7. Krunal Pandya 8. Mitchell McClenaghan 9. Mayank Markande 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Lasith Malinga.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.