Punjab Kings (PBKS) face Mumbai Indians (MI) today at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The KL Rahul-led side haven’t had the best of starts to the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they have lost three matches in a row after winning their campaign opener. Just when it seemed like PBKS had finally worked out the winning formula early in the season, it has all come crashing down now.
MI have been much better, but a win for PBKS today would get both sides level on points. The defending champions have had problems of their own this season. Their middle order hasn’t fired at all with the exception of the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) when Kieron Pollard came good. They would want to address that, even though they begin this match as favourites.
On that note, we take a look at how MI can get past PBKS.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs MI – Key for MI #1: Middle Order must come good
MI are well-known for having one of the best middle-orders in the tournament. Consisting of the likes of Ishan Kishan, the Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard, it is a line-up that is capable of decimating any bowling attack in the world. However, it hasn’t been able to do that.
All of the aforesaid batsmen have struggled to produce an impactful innings (with the exception of Pollard vs SRH) for their side. If MI are to beat PBKS today, the out-of-form middle order must regain its vintage touch and fire, amidst the tricky conditions for batting in Chennai.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs MI – Key for MI #2: Stop KL Rahul early
PBKS skipper KL Rahul is among the most consistent batsmen in the IPL at present. The opener is someone who puts a price on his wicket and once he gets going, he is a difficult man to stop. Although he failed in the previous match against SRH by being the first wicket to fall, he would want to make amends by leading from the front today.
For MI, it would thus be of paramount importance to get Rahul wicket early. Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah will hold key, as will the spinners (or the third pacer if MI choose one for the match) in being tasked with sending back the PBKS skipper. If Rahul gets out cheaply, MI would be firm favourites to win as the middle-order of PBKS looks out of sorts at the moment.