IPL 9: Mumbai look to inch closer to play-off berth in tie vs Punjab

Visakhapatnam: On a high after a thumping win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, defending champions Mumbai Indians will aim to continue their winning momentum when they take on bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab here today.

Two-time winners Mumbai come into this match after a six-wicket victory over batting powerhouse RCB and are currently placed fourth in the points table with 12 points from 11 games.

While Punjab, after a one-run loss to RCB in their last match, find themselves in the bottom of the points table with six points from 10 matches.

A strong Mumbai side will, as always, rely on openers Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel to do the job upfront. With in-form Ambati Rayudu, hard-hitters Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya to follow, the batting line-up is very strong.

Skipper Rohit has led his team from the front and scored runs when it mattered the most for his side. After being bundled out for 92 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai’s batting unit stood up and delivered against RCB to register their sixth victory and stay on course for a play-off spot.

Their bowling led by New Zealand’s Tim Southee alongside Mitchell McClenaghan, young Jasprit Bumrah have been one of the most consistent line-ups in the tournament so far.

On the other hand, Punjab despite having match winners in their side have failed to put up a descent show in the cash-rich T20 tournament. Be it with the ball or the willow, India’s as well as overseas players’ inconsistent performance has dashed their hopes of making it to the play-offs.

Captains’ wishlist
Rohit Sharma Mumbai Indians
> Have a big opening stand with Parthiv Patel
> In-form KXIP opener Murali Vijay flops
> Pacers McClenaghan, Southee take quick wickets

Murali Vijay Kings XI Punjab
> Team gets back to winning ways
> Hard-hitter Kieron Pollard does not score big
> Spinner Axar Patel restricts flow of runs