Mumbai Indians look to continue winning run against Kings XI Punjab
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Mumbai Indians look to continue winning run against Kings XI Punjab

Mumbai Indians have won four of their last five matches in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) and will look to continue their excellent run in the Tournament when they face Kings XI Punjab in Indore tonight.

The two-time IPL champions had a disappointing start to this year’s tournament when they lost to Rising Pune Supergiant. However, MI have completed a record four consecutive run chases since then and thanks to this brilliant display, Rohit Sharma’s men are currently second in the league table with eight points from five matches.

The biggest strength for Mumbai Indians in this tournament has been the performance of their middle-order batsmen. Delhi youngster Nitish Rana has been the star for MI and with two important half-centuries under his belt, he has been an absolute revelation in this year’s IPL.

Rana has found perfect support in Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik — who have impressed everyone with their all-round performances. The three youngsters have scored a combined 362 runs in the tournament till now and as a result, they’ve been a constant in most of MI’s successful run chases.

Although the Indian youngsters have stolen the show for MI till now, it has not stopped West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard from showing off his destructive batting skills. The 29-year old has played some good knocks for his team this season and his 47-ball 70 against Royal Challengers Bangalore helped them seal an unlikely win at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The only concern for MI has been the form of their skipper Rohit Sharma. He had a rough start to the season and could manage just 9 runs in the first four matches. However, he made a strong comeback against Gujarat Lions with an unbeaten 40 off 29 deliveries and that can be the morale boost the India batsman needed to regain his old form.

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On the other hand, it has been a disappointing week for Kings XI Punjab. After winning their first two matches convincingly against Rising Pune Supergiant and Royal Challengers Bangalore, KXIP went on to lose three in a row and are currently fifth in the IPL table with four points.

The biggest problem for KXIP has been the form of their overseas batsmen who have failed to perform in the last three matches. Glenn Maxwell and Hashim Amla played brilliantly in the first two matches, but both of them have struggled to score runs ever since. The situation has been even worse for David Miller and Eoin Morgan as both of them have failed to produce a single big innings in the tournament so far.

Historically, Mumbai Indians have a slender lead over Kings XI Punjab as they have won 9 out of their last 17 meetings. However, KXIP have not lost a single match at the Holkar Stadium in Indore this season and they will surely be looking to put their IPL campaign back on track with a win over the in-form MI at their lucky ‘home’ ground.

April 20, 2017

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