Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, September 28 2021, 7:30 PM IST
Despite of the Mumbai Indians “catch-up” game being popular, four wins in 10 matches, has left them with no option but to make a dash in the final stretch of the league phase. To their luck, barring the dominance of Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings, to go with the turn of form for Kolkata Knight Riders, the rest are performing poorly as much as them this season. Clubbed with three other teams on the points table with as many wins, Mumbai Indians have the company of Punjab Kings – their opponents for the Tuesday night clash.
A changed name hasn’t helped the KL Rahul-led side, who despite showcasing individual brilliance consistently, continue to disappoint in the crucial moments of their matches. It’s a cause of worry, especially with their continuous line-up changes which has left them with more uncertainty than assurance.
Most striking are their middle order problems, which has been as fragile as that of Mumbai Indians this season. The only difference is that Punjab have been long used to it, without an adequate solution over several years, while Mumbai Indians are in an unfamiliar zone. with their powerful ‘Engine Room’ not firing.
Due to this, both the teams rely heavily on their international level openers.If any one of the team’s openers fail to deliver, it would lead to a lot of pressure on the remaining batting department, which, has fared poorly.
Against a side like Punjab Kings, which has relied heavily on its openers to do the scoring, the powerplay could prove to be a decisive period of play. Last season, Mumbai Indians bowlers had dominated the phase with the most wickets – especially in Abu Dhabi.
Even as several other teams have studied and outwitted them in the match-up game this season, if the defending champions break Punjab’s top order early, they will be able to break their three-match losing streak as well.
When: Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, September 28, 2021, 19:30 IST
Where: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Head-to-head: Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings have had a near-even contest over the years, with MI leading 14-13, which includes one win each in the previous season.
What to expect: The pitch in Abu Dhabi hasn’t been as fast as it was the previous season.Due to this, the batsmen have suffered to strike big. But batting second has been comfortable in the evening games.
The tweakers have enjoyed challenging batsmen to go after them on the big ground. However, even express pace and cutters have had its advantages.
Who will win?
Given the momentum both teams are in right now, I can’t be a 100% sure about either team. But I would bet on Mumbai Indians to pull this match off just because of the way they been doing it for nearly a decade now.