“Every game from now on is going to be important for us, we as Punjab Kings have been in that position before.”

Those were skipper KL Rahul’s words after Wednesday’s loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad, and the 29-year-old will be eager to put those statements into fruition when Punjab Kings take to the field next. Punjab take on champions Mumbai Indians next in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League on Friday at the Chepauk Stadium, and they’d hope to end their rut of three consecutive losses. 

Aamne Saamne

Punjab Kings

Mumbai Indians

11 wins

14 wins

Mumbai Indians have a marginally better head-to-head record, but it was Punjab Kings who won the previous between these two sides- which was that Double Super Over game in IPL 2020. Mumbai have at times found things difficult at the Chepauk Stadium, with two losses so far at that venue. Punjab Kings would therefore be hopeful of their chances against the champions, despite their slow start to the competition themselves. 

Batting de Baadshah

KL Rahul

Rohit Sharma

161 runs

138 runs

KL Rahul so far has got fifties in his first and third game of IPL 2021, with low scores in the other two fixtures. Therefore, the law of averages dictates that the Punjab Kings skipper would be due a big score once again come Friday. Rahul was the top scorer for Punjab in their win last season over Mumbai, and he would hope to repeat such a performance to take his team over the line once again and end the run of losses.

Rohit Sharma has provided strong starts to Mumbai more often than not this season, but hasn’t managed to consolidate on them and get a big score, as he is yet to get a fifty. The Mumbai middle-order also looks slightly shaky with Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and the rest yet to find their feet. Mumbai Indians would be hoping for their middle-order to score some runs on Friday, if they are to leave their Chennai leg of IPL 2021 on a positive note. 

Bowling de Kings

Arshdeep Singh

Rahul Chahar

5 wickets

8 wickets

Arshdeep Singh picked up three wickets in his first game of IPL 2021, and followed that up with a wicket apiece against Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals. The left-arm pacer has been pretty economical despite playing three games at the Wankhede Stadium, and would be optimistic to continue that trend on a sluggish Chepauk track against Mumbai Indians on Friday. 

Rahul Chahar has enjoyed life so far at the Chepauk Stadium, as he leads the wicket charts for his team. The leg spinner has caused all sorts of problems to opposition batsmen, regularly picking wickets for his team while maintaining an economy rate under eight. Punjab Kings batsmen will look to play out the 21-year-old shrewdly come Friday, to maximise their chances of a big score. 

Mudde di Baat

This game will be more important for Punjab Kings, who would desperately be looking to get a second win under their belt and build some momentum, as games come quick and fast. Captain KL Rahul mentioned that his team didn’t adapt to conditions quickly enough against SRH, but would be hoping it is second time lucky for his team at the Chepauk Stadium. 

Opponents Mumbai Indians ended on the losing side in their previous game against Delhi, and would be looking to make a strong comeback. This would be their last game at the Chepauk Stadium for this season, and they’d be hoping to leave that venue on a high. 

Yaad Rakhiyo

  • KL Rahul averages 64.44 against Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
  • Suryakumar Yadav has been dismissed twice by Murugan Ashwin in a span of 14 balls previously in the IPL.
  • Mayank Agarwal is just 19 runs away from completing 1000 runs for Punjab Kings. 

Probable XI

KL Rahul (c and wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan, Jalaj Saxena, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.

Nicholas Pooran was unfortunate to be run out for a zero ball duck in the previous game. Nevertheless, the southpaw has struggled for form and could benefit from some time out, with top ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan slotting in. Secondly, with spin on offer on those tracks, two of their more experienced players in Murugan Ashwin and Jalaj Saxena could be preferred. 

NOTE: The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.