Match 23 of IPL 2022 sees the five-time champions Mumbai Indians look to open their account after four straight losses when they take on a Punjab Kings side who have made it through to the playoffs just twice in 14 campaigns.
Rohit Sharma’s side have looked like a shadow of themselves in the ongoing edition and will need several things to fall in place if they are to arrest their poor start and restore their campaign.
Mumbai Indians have lost their first four matches of the new edition. They also did that back in 2015 but still went on to take the silverware. However, to repeat that turnaround, there needs to be an immediate change in the current form of some of their key players. In particular, their captain Rohit Sharma has an overall average of 30.93 across 217 matches. Along with poor starts from big hitters, Kieron Pollard and Tim David, hopes of a place in the finals are looking ominous.
Since IPL 2020, while batting as an opener, Ishan Kishan has never been dismissed in the powerplay. Taking him out early will be crucial to Kings’ chances and so they might entertain the idea of matching him up with Rahul Chahar. Legspinners have accounted for three of the Mumbai opener’s last four dismissals.
After losing to high-flying newbies Gujarat Titans in their last match, Punjab Kings have alternated between wins and losses over their first four games this season. The Kings can be thankful for the form of Liam Livingstone and opener Shikhar Dhawan for keeping them in the race, as the form of captain Mayank Agarwal (42 at avg 10.50) at the top of the order is a major cause for concern.
Mumbai don’t need to win this IPL. Punjab Kings, on the other hand, could really do with the in their trophy cabinet. To that end, they’ve assembled a fearsome lineup of hitters, with Liam Livingstone starting to get the kind of pull that somebody like Chris Gayle used to. The only problem is the bowling keeps letting them down.
This Punjab Kings side is one of the best teams in the tournament (on paper) but they have yet to find consistency. This is why I believe that MI will register their first win of the campaign.
The average first innings score at this venue in the IPL is 161 (173 in IPL 2022).
Mumbai lead the overall H2H record 15-13, but interestingly this record improves to 7-3 when they lose the coin toss.
Seven of the last ten first innings scores at this venue have been 161 or above.
Mayank Agarwal was the Kings’ top batter in five of their last 14 matches last season.
Mumbai and Kings are leaking way too many runs way too easily as evidenced by their economy rates – 9.41 and 9.13, the worst in the league.
Kings have been dominating the powerplay. Their run rate (10) in this phase of play is the best in the league.
Players to Watch
Mumbai’s Suryakumar Yadav has hit eight sixes in two innings helping him to a strike rate of 164.38. He could face Kings’ paceman Vaibhav Arora for the first time in T20s, who has made a good impression in his first two IPL outings, claiming 2/55 off his eight overs going at just 6.88 rpo.
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