IPL 8: Mumbai Indians take on Kings XI in battle of first-game losersMumbai: Former champions Mumbai Indians take on last year's runners-up Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium in an IPL match here tomorrow in a game that promises plenty of action while offering a chance
Mumbai: Former champions Mumbai Indians take on last year's runners-up Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium in an IPL match here tomorrow in a game that promises plenty of action while offering a chance for both teams to get into winning ways after losses in their lung-openers.
While MI snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by going down by one run, the KXIP lost their way in chasing a none-too-difficult target against Rajasthan Royals in Pune last night.
The Punjab side would be more battle weary than the well-rested home team going into tomorrow's clash, but do have the wherewithal to put aside their opening match blues and put it across MI after two straight losses at this venue.
KXIP had beaten MI by 6 wickets in 2012 at Wankhede, but suffered back-to-back losses in 2013 (4 runs) and last year (5 wickets), and thus have a chance to come out trumps again on a track which is expected to offer bounce and some turn.
In their opening games, both the teams recovered from poor starts and would be hoping for some stability at the top-order tomorrow.
Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma, who has all the strokes in the book, made a superb 98 not out off just 65 balls against KKR at the Eden Gardens and had a splendid support from growing-in-stature New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson (55 not out in 41 balls) that bailed out MI from a poor 37 for 3.
The home team would expect the likes of Aaron Finch, Aditya Tare and Ambati Rayudu to contribute more tomorrow than what they did in Kolkata.
In bowling too, MI would like a better show from their experienced spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha, who went for a lot of runs against KKR, and from their death-bowling specialist Lasith Malinga who was carted for sixes by Suryakumar Yadav in the first game.
Malinga and West Indian Kieron Pollard have been the two constants as their two overseas picks in the playing elevens in IPL over the last few years, leaving MI to juggle around with the rest of foreigners to fill up the other two spots.
Anderson seems to have cemented his place with his power-packed batting last season and has impressed in the opening game, leaving just one spot to be filled in. The loss of Australian World Cup-winning pacer Josh Hazlewood, who has pulled out of IPL without playing a game citing exhaustion after a long season, has reduced MI's options.