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IPL-2024: Mumbai Indians to take on Punjab Kings at Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Stadium, Mullanpur in Chandigarh

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Today Mumbai Indians will take on Punjab Kings at Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur, Chandigarh. The match will begin at 7:30 this evening

Only minor details separate Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians. Places seventh and eighth respectively in the standings due to a minute decimal-point difference in their NRR, both have four points in six games and are desperate for more as they hit the halfway mark in their IPL 2024 campaigns on Thursday (April 18). Both are coming into the contest on the back of last-over defeats, except MI had regained a bit of momentum before going down to CSK despite Rohit Sharma’s first IPL ton in 12 years.

Both have a stand-out pacer who’s lacked consistent support at the other end. Jasprit Bumrah (ER 6.08) has proved difficult to put away even on days he’s gone wicket-less, whereas PBKS have Kagiso Rabada (ER 7.95) hitting top form once again, which the opponents have been wary of. Both teams have a couple of batters doing the heavy-lifting for the side – for the hosts, it’s the uncapped duo of Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma at the backend saving them the blushes and for MI it’s their experienced opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan giving them blazing starts consistently. Only once have MI scored under 50 runs in the PowerPlays this season.

MI in fact are the third-best team in PowerPlays in IPL 2024, averaging 48 with a run-rate of 10.67 and the second-best boundary percentage of 29.2. They have also hit most sixes (23) in this phase.

However, after four straight games in the comforts of their home ground, the next track might not be as free-scoring. Mullanpur has been the lowest scoring venue in PowerPlays with a run rate of just 7.28 as compared to the season average of 9.18. This is where the start from in-form MI openers will be imperative to the team’s chances of getting back to winning ways, especially given their captain Hardik Pandya’s indifferent form and Suryakumar Yadav’s mixed-bag of a season since his return from injury.

On the contrary, Punjab’s top-order troubles are well documented. Their top-three have aggregated just 382 runs, which is the lowest in IPL 2024, and the solitary 50+ knock has come from their captain Shikhar Dhawan’s bat. However, his shoulder injury has compounded PBKS’ batting woes. Despite the unfavourable results though, Punjab haven’t chopped and changed much this year, consistently backing the likes of Prabhsimran Singh, Jonny Bairstow and Jitesh Sharma to come good. With a better grasp of the conditions at the new home ground now, PBKS will be expecting their top-order to pull up their socks if they were to put their campaign back on track before it turns into another season of what-ifs.

Squads:

Punjab Kings Squad: Atharva Taide, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Sam Curran(c), Jitesh Sharma(w), Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Ashutosh Sharma, Harpreet Brar, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Vidhwath Kaverappa, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Nathan Ellis, Tanay Thyagarajan, Shivam Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Rilee Rossouw, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Sikandar Raza, Prince Choudhary, Vishwanath Singh

Mumbai Indians Squad: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya(c), Tim David, Romario Shepherd, Mohammad Nabi, Shreyas Gopal, Gerald Coetzee, Jasprit Bumrah, Akash Madhwal, Dewald Brevis, Naman Dhir, Nehal Wadhera, Harvik Desai, Shams Mulani, Arjun Tendulkar, Kumar Kartikeya, Shivalik Sharma, Anshul Kamboj, Nuwan Thushara, Kwena Maphaka, Luke Wood, Piyush Chawla

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