Preview of match 50 of VIVO IPL 2018: A loss against KXIP tonight will be end of the road for MI
On Wednesday, MI host Kings XI Punjab in a virtual knockout game at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in match 50 of VIVO IPL 2018.
A loss forMumbai
Indians tonight will end their chances of proceeding to the playoffs. However, if they do manage a win they would move to the fourth place in the points table as MI have a remarkable Net Run Rate (NRR) of 0.405, which is even better than the NRR of table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad, all thanks to some close games which the defending champions unfortunately lost.
MI skipper Rohit Sharma would hope to get both KL Rahul and Chris Gayle early as the duo has been the most destructive opening pair of IPL 2018. If both Gayle and Rahul get good starts they could open the flood gates for KXIP especially while batting at a small ground like Wankhede. However, on the brighter side, once they are dismissed without considerable damage, the rest of the batting line up of KXIP is nothing to write home about. In fact, the in the last few matches, the whole batting line up of KXIP fell apart like a pack of cards once Rahul and Gayle were dismissed early. It's the middle order of team which has been its undoing.
Having lost their last three matches on the trot has left KXIP no less desperate for a win tonight. To make matters worse for Preity Zinta's side, Punjab have a NRR of -0.518, the poorest of the eight competing teams. A victory for KXIP in today's game will take them to 14 point placing them at the fourth spot in the points table, but still not guarantee them a place in the playoffs. However, a loss against MI today will complicate thing even more for Kings XI and further damage their prospects of proceeding in the tournament.
Kings XI would hope that their spinner Mujeeb ur Rehman who had missed the game against KKR owing to injuring in his hand is fit to play today.
Mumbai might think that they have an edge ahead of today's match as they had beaten KXIP in their last encounter at Indore, but in the present scenario with the playoffs in sight, it all boils down to a battle of nerves.