Punjab will take on defending champions in their final game in Chennai. Both sides lost their previous game but Punjab have more issues with their combination.
Match Timings: April 22, 7:30 PM IST
Mumbai will finally end their Chennai leg with a game against struggling Punjab. Defending champions had a mixed season so far with two wins and two defeats. In the last game, they lost against Delhi by 7 wickets. Mumbai failed with the bat and scored 137 in the first innings. It wasn’t enough to defend but Mumbai took this game into the final over but Delhi crossed the line. After 2016, Mumbai lost their 6 wickets in 12 overs and they struggled against spin.
After four matches, Mumbai have so many puzzles, they need to solve. They looked inconsistent with the bat so far. Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav are the only players who showed some good intent with the bat. The middle-order failed to replicate the previous season’s form. In the first three games, they failed badly in death-overs, and in the next game, they delivered a middle-order batting collapse after a fiery start in the powerplay. Jayant Yadav was included in the last game to boost the spin attack and he was impressive. Mumbai would avoid any big change in the squad. They just need to focus on their natural game. One more defeat can put them in tough competition for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Punjab’s story has been written with utter disappointment and it’s nothing new because it’s happening since 2014. They didn’t even prepare for the season and poor team performance is showing their chances for the playoffs. With this attitude, they are surely going to miss out playoffs for the 7th successive time. In the previous game, their batting collapsed and they couldn’t even take rotated the strike. After scoring 120, bowlers made the task tougher for Hyderabad but it was an average total on Chennai.
Pooran has got three ducks in four innings and it’s a serious concern. They have Dawid Malan who is the number one T20I batsman who is sitting on the bench. Ravi Bishnoi was ignored in the last game despite his good numbers on spin tracks. Henriques and Allen both will continue in this game. Allen bowled very well and he has the batting option as well. Hard-hitting cannot win you matches every time and Punjab has to reform their combination as soon as possible because they cannot expect a second-half turnaround every time. If they lose one more, they will be in deep trouble and playoffs qualification would be blurred.
Chennai’s track is a pure bowling-friendly wicket. Batsmen have to play sensible cricket instead of hard-hitting. The surface is slow and spinners will have the full command on the game. 140 would be a competitive total. Batting first is an ideal call after winning the toss.
Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Nicholas Pooran/Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Back-to-back thirty plus scores, 138 runs so far at an avg of 34.50
8 wickets so far at an avg of 14.75
161 runs so far at an avg of 40.25, good form for Punjab
Impressive numbers for Punjab, 5 wickets at an avg of 19