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Mumbai eyeing to salvage pride vs in-form Punjab

Indore, May 3: Three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians will look to salvage pride when they face a spirited Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Friday.
The star-studded Mumbai side is languishing at the bottom of the points table with just two wins from eight games.
On the other side, Punjab will be flying high on confidence after being placed third with five wins from seven games and 10 points in their kitty.
Mumbai’s batters, including skipper Rohit Sharma, have failed miserably in this year’s league.
For Rohit’s side, except Suryakumar Yadav, who has 283 runs under his belt in eight matches as an opener, all others have been inconsistent.
The Mumbai skipper also needs to rediscover his own form as he has struggled to get past 20 in six games.
Big hitting West Indian all-rounder Keiron Pollard, in his twilight years, has also been out of touch with just 76 runs from six innings.
South African Jean-Paul Dumminy has featured in just a couple of games and played a single innings hitting 23 runs.
Coming to the Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal, both showed glimpses of their batting prowess in the previous match Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and will aim to bolster the lower order with some lusty blows.
In the bowling department, Mumbai will once again bank on young spinner Mayank Markande, who has so far bagged 11 wickets from eight games with his leg-spin.
The pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan have kept things tight while the Pandya brothers have also been amongst the wickets.
On the other hand, Punjab openers Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle have been a major reason behind their success. While Rahul has accumulated 268 runs from seven games, the Caribbean self-proclaimed “Universe Boss” has amassed 252 runs from just four matches.
The duo have handed a perfect start to their side on several occassions in this year’s edition.
Karun Nair has also been impressive after 186 runs from six innings but veteran Yuvraj Singh, Aaron Finch and Mayank Agarwal are yet to make their presence felt in the middle.
The trio’s poor form could be a cause of concern for the team management.
In the bowling department, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin, along with medium pacer Mohit Sharma add depth to the line-up.
Also, medium pacers Barinder Sran and Andrew Tye, and Afghan spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman shoulder the bulk of the responsibility.
While Australian Tye has nine wickets from seven games with an economy of 7.78, pacer Ankit Rajpoot and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have seven wickets each.
Mumbai will have to win all their remaining matches to make it to the play-offs even as an in-form Punjab start as favourites in Friday’s game. IANS