The Mumbai Indians (MI) will look to take inspiration from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as they attempt to get off the mark in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Men in Yellow were moored near the bottom of the points table with no wins in four games, but recovered well to comprehensively beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and commence their title defense. MI will seek a similar turnaround in fortunes when they look horns with the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the 23rd match of IPL 2022 at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday, April 13.
With two wins from four games, PBKS have had a mixed start to their campaign. Victories over RCB and CSK have been interspersed by a batting collapse against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and a stunning last-over capitulation against the Gujarat Titans (GT), leaving the Mohali-based franchise near the middle of the IPL 2022 points table.
While PBKS will look to employ their firebrand batting approach against a struggling MI bowling attack, the five-time champions will desperately be searching for a complete performance to put their first points on the board this year.
IPL 2022 Match Prediction: MI vs PBKS
MI played the last game with only two overseas players, with captain Rohit Sharma coming up with a bizarre claim. He stated that a few batters were unavailable and that the team decided to put out the best possible XI, taking the opposition and the playing conditions in mind, but it was clear that there wasn’t much truth in his statements.
Tim David, who was dropped after just two games, came on as a substitute fielder in the second innings. Tymal Mills, who has been one of MI’s better bowlers this year despite being expensive on occasion, was sacrificed for Jaydev Unadkat, who doesn’t offer nearly enough death-bowling quality. Another replacement, Ramandeep Singh, didn’t bowl and came in to bat at No. 7.
MI should revert to Mills and perhaps a spin-bowling all-rounder in Fabian Allen, who could be vital in establishing the right balance in the lower-middle order. Dewald Brevis and Tilak Varma, who’ve shown clear signs of their immense potential, will continue to gain experience as MI implement their long-term IPL vision.
PBKS, meanwhile, will seek improved batting returns from captain Mayank Agarwal, who has endured a nightmarish start to the season. Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t come up with a big knock yet, while Jonny Bairstow is still searching for his bearings after missing the first three matches.
PBKS might also consider replacing Odean Smith, who completely lost the plot in the last over against GT and has appeared a shadow of his batting self since his charmed cameo against RCB. If they want to bring Bhanuka Rajapaksa back into the fold, either Rishi Dhawan or Raj Bawa could bolster the lower-middle order.
Despite some potential personnel changes, PBKS are in prime position to build on their start and keep MI’s winless streak going. Unless Rohit Sharma can conjure something incredible from a struggling bowling attack, the Kings’ well-roundedness should get them over the line on Wednesday.
Prediction: PBKS to win Match 23 of IPL 2022