Kolkata Knight Riders' two-wicket victory over Rising Pune Supergiants saw them move to the top of the 2016 Indian Premier League table on Sunday, ahead of Gujarat Lions on net run rate.
At the other end of table sit Kings XI Punjab, who have claimed just one victory from their first five matches and will be desperate to overcome Mumbai Indians at Mohali on Monday.
Mumbai themselves have also struggled early in IPL 9—picking up just two victories from six matches—and they go into Monday's clash having been edged out by Delhi Daredevils last time out.
Read on for a full preview and odds for the fixture at the IS Bindra Stadium, as well as live streaming information and the upcoming IPL schedule with predictions.
|IPL 2016: Upcoming Schedule, Predictions|
|April 25||3:30 p.m/8 p.m.||Kings XI Punjab vs. Mumbai Indians||Mohali||MI win|
|April 26||3:30 p.m/8 p.m.||Surisers Hyderabad vs. Rising Pune Supergiants||Hyderabad||SH win|
|April 27||3:30 p.m/8 p.m.||Delhi Daredevils vs. Gujarat Lions||Delhi||DD win|
|April 28||3:30 p.m/8 p.m.||Mumbai Indians vs. Kolkata Knight Riders||Mumbai||KKR win|
|April 29||3:30 p.m/8 p.m.||Rising Pune Supergiants vs. Gujarat Lions||Pune||GL win|
Kings XI Punjab (11-7) vs. Mumbai Indians (8-13)
Though it is early in the tournament, both Kings XI and Mumbai are in danger of falling well off the pace in the race for the playoff spots.
While Monday's clash cannot be described as a must-win game for either side—there is still a long way to go—defeat for either outfit could cause some panic in the ranks.
Both have struggled with their batting so far in IPL 9. In Kings XI's most successful IPL season ever, in 2014, they topped the league and were runners-up overall, and their batting was brilliant.
In that season, Glenn Maxwell was the star man, but the Australian has failed to find form so far in 2016, scoring just 39 runs in five matches.
|IPL 2016: Standings|
Big-hitting KXIP skipper David Miller has also been out of form, hitting 46 runs in the opening five matches, meaning the middle-order has struggled.
If Miller and Maxwell can improve, then Kings XI could, once again, become a batting powerhouse, as their top three of Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra and Shaun Marsh have looked in good shape.
The bowling unit has not been at its best, either, but if the likes of Sandeep Sharma, Mitchell Johnson and Mohit Sharma are backed up by a decent total against Mumbai, Kings XI could well claim the victory that would see them off the bottom of the table.
Defending champions Mumbai have also had their batting problems as their top order—barring skipper Rohit Sharma—have largely failed to give them a decent base on which to build.
In the two matches they have won so far in the tournament, against KKR and and Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rohit has scored big—84 and 62, respectively—and Mumbai have chased down decent totals.
The skipper got another half century against Delhi on Saturday as his side fell just short of victory, per Sky Sports Cricket:
The other common denominator in Mumbai's pair of victories has been Jos Buttler coming to the party—the Englishman's two contributions of any note so far being the 22-ball 41 he scored against KKR and his 14-ball 28 against RCB.
Buttler and Rohit together can beat almost any team by themselves, and with the likes of Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard also more than capable of scoring big, Mumbai have the personnel to go a long way in the tournament.
A struggling Kings XI are the perfect opponents for Mumbai at the moment as they look to get a third win on the board, and if Rohit can give his side a good start once again, the visitors should prevail in Mohali.
Kings XI look very low on confidence as their poor form has continued from last season—when they won only three matches and came last.
If Maxwell and Miller can put on a show, then they could claim a morale-boosting win, but so poor have the pair been so far that Mumbai certainly look the favourites to take an important victory.