Kings XI look to disrupt Mumbai's best-ever start
Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians
Indore, April 20, 2017
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Head to head
Overall: After 18 matches, both teams are deadlocked at nine wins apiece. But Mumbai Indians have a 6-3 lead in the last nine matches.
Last season: It's another deadlock. Marcus Stoinis set up Kings XI Punjab's win in Visakhapatnam, taking 4 for 15, while Mumbai's win in Mohali was headlined by a 137-run second-wicket partnership between Parthiv Patel and Ambati Rayudu.
In the news
Mumbai are off to their best start in IPL history with four wins in five matches and would hope to better that record considering Kings XI have lost all three of their most recent games.
Manan Vohra's sublime 95 almost papered over Kings XI's overseas players - Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Eoin Morgan and Hashim Amla - scoring only 24 runs in the last match and it is this area that has been letting them down. Miller has the second-lowest strike-rate (103.75) among the 30 batsmen who have faced at least 65 balls this season and he might lose his spot if Shaun Marsh and Martin Guptill are match fit,
Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma has not been opening because he feels his experience is needed in the middle order. That strategy works with Nitish Rana doing so well at No. 3 that he is the team's top scorer.
The likely XIs
Kings XI Punjab 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 4 Glenn Maxwell (capt), 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 David Miller, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Mohit Sharma, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 KC Cariappa, 11 Ishant Sharma
Mumbai Indians 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Rohit Sharma (capt), 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Lasith Malinga
- Kings XI bowlers could look to bowl wide of off stump to the left-handed Rana, and get KC Cariappa to bowl more offbreaks than carrom balls at him. Rana has scored 127 runs off 77 balls on the leg side while only scoring 66 runs off 60 balls on the off side.
- Rohit should expect to face Axar Patel, Cariappa or even Maxwell as soon as he comes in. He has been dismissed by spin bowling four times in four innings this season, scoring 13 runs off 21 balls. Rohit would still back himself considering he averaged 54.28 against slow bowling in the previous two seasons.
Stats that matter
- In the two IPL games at the Holkar Stadium this year, batsmen have clobbered as many as 36 sixes, and only 39 fours.
- Fast bowlers have the worst average in Indore out of all the venues this season. They have taken nine wickets at an average of 50.33 and an economy rate of 9.24. By contrast, spinners have taken seven wickets at 24.57 and an economy of 7.02.
- Nitish Rana has hit a half-century in each of the three times he has batted at No. 3. He made 70 against Gujarat Lions in 2016 to go along with his two fifties this year. Rohit Sharma, in comparison, scored 3, 4 and 0 the last three times he was at No. 3. Rana is also excellent against left-arm bowlers: he has scored 63 runs off 34 balls without ever being dismissed. Against right-arm bowlers, he has made 130 runs in 111 balls.
- Spin has troubled Mumbai's batsmen in the Powerplay this season. They have gained only 26 runs in 42 deliveries and have given up five wickets in the process. By contrast, Mumbai have scored 201 off 138 against fast bowlers in the first six overs.
- In six innings, Rohit has been dismissed by Sandeep Sharma twice, with the Mumbai batsman managing only 18 runs off 19 balls. Kings XI's Miller, on the other hand, has been knocked over by Lasith Malinga thrice in four games.
- Indore has offered an economy rate of 4.83 to teams bowling first in the Powerplay. At every other venue this season, runs have been scored at a rate of at least seven per over in this phase. Indore makes up with the batsmen in the slog overs though, affording runs at a rate of 13.20, the second-highest among all venues in 2017
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo