Ed Hawkins previews Sunday's clash from Dubai with Kings under pressure against the leaders...
"Kings can take wickets up front so there is a possibility for a wager on Mumbai at 1.705/7 or slightly bigger in-play with an early wicket if batting first"
Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab
Sunday October 18, 15:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Could Indians shuffle pack?
Mumbai Indians continue to go from strength to strength. They defeated Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday to record their sixth win out of eight.
It was arguably the most impressive performance of the lot - and possibly the entire tournament. Mumbai razed the Kolkata top order and although they took some heat from Pat Cummins' blade a chase of 149 was never in doubt with Quinton de Kock finding his best form.
With qualification assured, Mumbai could look to give bench players some time. Trent Boult might benefit from some rest with Mitchell McClenaghan available. Or they might look to keep Kieron Pollard fresh with Sherfane Rutherford getting a hit.
Possible XI Rohit, De Kock, Yadav, Kishan, Pollard, Hardik, Krunal, Coulter-Nile, Chahar, Boult, Bumrah
Kings XI managed only their second win of the season last time out against Bangalore but their lack of nerve continues to amaze. Kings were cruising in pursuit of 172 with Chris Gayle and KL Rahul set but they still managed to give RCB hope.
Either Kings are lazy in their play or too tense but it was unforgiveable not to have the game finished before the last over and end up requiring Nic Pooran to finish the job off the very last ball.
They continue to leak runs at the death of an innings because Mohammad Shami is a walking bingo card and there is very little they can do about that. They have also jettisoned Mujeeb-ur-Rahman back to the bench. Picking another batsman in Gayle when they are in dire need of bowling stability sums them up.
Probable XI Rahul, Agarwal, Gayle, Pooran, Maxwell, Hooda, Jordan, M Ashwin, Bishnoi, Shami, Arshdeep.
2020 MI 191-4 (Rohit 70, Cottrell 1-20) defended KP 143-8 (Pooran 44, Bumrah 2-20)
2019 MI 198-4 (Pollard 83, Shami 3-21) chased KP 197-4 (Rahul 100*, Hardik 2-57)
KP 177-2 (Rahul 70*, Krunal 2-43) chased MI 176-7 (De Kock 60, M Ashwin 2-25)
Overall MI 14 KP 11
The first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) at Dubai read: 177-na/161-1/167-1/158-2/169-1/201-1/196-1/178-2/164-1/174-1/201-t/175-1/206-1/163-1/157-t. The surface appears to be slower and lower and thus runscoring is becoming more difficult. With Kings such a flaky opposition and Mumbai in roaring form, don't be surprised if Kings bat first and are absolutely rinsed. We could see the lowest score of the tournament. As we have been saying for the past few weeks there are opportunities for low-risk wagers on first-innings runs. Under 130 and 140 have under 1.201/5 appeal while you will pay a bit more for laying 150 or more.
As one would expect, Mumbai are hot favourites at 1.625/8 with Kings 2.3811/8. The one glimmer of hope Kings have is using the tournament toss bias and squeezing Mumbai in a chase. But the Indians have won both their chasing encounters so far and appear nerveless.
In terms of odds fluctuations we can be pretty sure that Kings, if bowling first will be bigger at the end of 20 overs than at the start of the 17th, given their shambolic death bowling. But such knowledge lends itself best to an innings runs bet.
We also know, however, that they can take wickets up front so there is a possibility for a wager on Mumbai at 1.705/7 or slightly bigger in-play with an early wicket if batting first. If Mumbai chase, we would also look for something similar.
Rahul and Agarwal have scored more than 60% of Kings XI's runs so splitting stakes between the pair with Sportsbook's 5/2 and 3/1 respectively may appeal.
Pollard is so overdue a top-bat win that he drifted out of the value zone on win rate, giving a whole point back to the bookies at big odds of 6/1. Rohit Sharma might have some appeal at 13/5 second jolly.
Ed Hawkins IPL P-L
Back Mumbai in-play at 1.705/7 or better