The Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab meet in the 22nd match of the 2014 Indian Premier League on Saturday. The tournament shifts back to India after a stint in the United Arab Emirates.
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Commences: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Start time: 11:30 a.m. BST (4 p.m. local)
Live on: ITV 4
Live Stream: ITV.com
Weather: The Weather Channel is predicting a fine and very hot day, with the top temperature expected to hit 33 degrees Celsius during the afternoon.
The Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab arrive at this meeting in the most contrasting of form following a two-week campaign in the UAE.
For the defending champion Mumbai franchise, the 2014 edition of the IPL couldn't have started worse, with five consecutive defeats leaving Rohit Sharma's team at the foot of the competition's standings.
Despite a strong bowling attack containing the likes of Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha, the loss of key batsmen such as Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Smith has left Mumbai with a top order seemingly incapable of matching it with the tournament's finest.
Punjab, meanwhile, have raced to the summit of the IPL points table after sweeping the UAE leg of the competition with five straight triumphs.
In Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey's side has the outstanding player of the tournament, ably supported by other international stars such as David Miller and Mitchell Johnson.
Returning to home comforts, of course, may provide a boost to the slumping Mumbai Indians, but a meeting with the tournament's leaders arrives at an inopportune time for a side needing to capture both form and morale.
Rohit Sharma (c), Corey Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah, Marchant de Lange, Ben Dunk, Chidhambaram Gautam (wk), Shreyas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Hussey, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga, Sushant Marathe, Pragyan Ojha, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu (wk), Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare (wk), Apoorv Wankhade
Kings XI Punjab
George Bailey (c), Anureet Singh, Parvinder Awana, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Beuran Hendricks, Mitchell Johnson, Karanveer Singh, Murali Kartik, Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Akshar Patel, Thisara Perera, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Manan Vohra
Players to Watch
With the top of Mumbai's batting line-up appearing decidedly under strength, the burden of launching an assault on opposition bowling attacks rests almost solely with Kieron Pollard.
Against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday, the powerful West Indian pushed his side to the brink of victory after another disappointing collapse in the early overs, clubbing a mighty 78 from just 48 balls.
Despite falling short of the ultimate target, Pollard's blistering display was a reminder of the dangerous threat he poses in the Twenty20 arena.
If the Mumbai Indians are to register a victory over the table-topping Punjab side, Pollard will need to be at his best with the bat once more.
Kings XI Punjab
The Kings XI Punjab matches are all about one man right now: Glenn Maxwell.
After a stunning ICC World Twenty20 campaign in Bangladesh (despite the failures of his Australian teammates), the precocious 25-year-old has embarked upon an outrageous hammering of the world's finest T20 bowlers.
In five innings thus far, Maxwell has scorched his way to 300 runs at a colossal strike rate of 201.34. With 30 fours and 17 sixes in the tournament, the Australian has already crashed 47 boundaries from only 149 balls, meaning almost one in every three deliveries he's faced have been savagely dispatched.
Should he continue his stupendous form, Mumbai simply won't stand a chance.
Getting back to the team's home in Mumbai may well give the Indians some assistance in trying to recapture the form that led the franchise to its first IPL crown in 2013.
However, a matchup with the tournament's brightest side to date is the least desirable fixture possible for Sharma's men.
With Maxwell, Miller and Johnson on fire, Punjab should stroll to a sixth consecutive victory on Saturday.
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