Mohali: A controversy-laden first two games at their back, Kings XI Punjab will look to exploit familiar conditions in their first home match of the IPL when they take on Mumbai Indians here Saturday. It has been a roller-coaster ride for KXIP, having to endure a controversy involving their captain Ravichandran Ashwin who ‘Mankaded’ Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in their first match, an act which was legal but criticised by some as against the ‘Spirit of Cricket’.
In their second game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Ashwin’s team was penalised for not keeping four men in the 30-yard circle and Andre Russell made full use of the reprieve to take the game away from KXIP. Ashwin and Co. will now look to forget all these unsavoury happenings of the first two games and start afresh in their first match at the PCA Stadium on Saturday.
With the tournament still in its early stages and the two teams having won a game each, the balance is not tilted inanyone’s favour and the Saturday’s tie is expected to be a keenly fought one. The two rival sides boast of some star players in their line-up and each team will hope to its best when it matters.
KXIP, who are yet to win an IPL title, opened their campaign this season on a winning note against Rajasthan Royals. But, the match caught the headlines more for Ashwin’s ‘Mankading’ of Buttler that triggered a dramatic collapse for the Royals. Kings XI eventually won by 14 runs.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians have come into this match, having notched up a 6-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, with India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah stamping his class. For Mumbai, Rohit Sharma (48 of 33) and Hardik Pandya’s 14-ball 32 stood out as they set up a target of 188 for RCB to chase. Mumbai were almost blown away by AB de Villiers’ 41-ball 70 not out, but the Rohit Sharma-led side won the match under controversial cicumstances.
Kings XI Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (capt), Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Mayank Agrawal, Karun Nair, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and David Miller, Sam Curran, Varun Chakaravarthy, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mandeep Singh, Simran Singh.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Rahul Chahar, Ben Cutting, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Salam, Anmolpreet Singh, Barinder Sran, Aditya Tare, Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav and Quinton de Kock.
Match starts at 4 pm. 16.00; Live on Star Select/HD