IPL 2020 | KXIP vs MI: Hits and Flops as Pandya-Pollard onslaught makes life difficult for the Punjabis
1 Oct 2020
The Kings XI Punjab were once again on the wrong side of the results after losing to Mumbai Indians in the 13th match of the Indian Premier League 2020 on Thursday, 1 October. KXIP playing their fourth match of the tournament failed to wake themselves up despite the end of September losing a vital clash by 48 runs.
Sending MI to bat first, KXIP were in control for most of the first half of the game, but a couple of tactical mistakes led to stalwarts Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya unleashing hell on the Punjab bowling line-up from which Rahul and co. never really recovered.
KXIP have had the worst of lucks in the tournament losing one of their games in the super over and another due to an incredible heist pulled off by Rahul Tewatia.
Having said that, the points table does not bother much about how they lost, and the fact remains that KXIP are reeling at the bottom of the table losing three matches off their four games played.
On that note, here are the three reasons why Kings XI Punjab lost one more game and now would look to stage a comeback to get deep in the competition.
The Kings XI bowling had the Mumbai batting by the ropes at least till the 14th over of the game. Struggling at 87/3 with Rohit Sharma and fresh on the crease Kieron Pollard, MI were looking to release pressure.
And the opportunity presented itself to them in James Neesham’s 3rd over where he gave away 22 runs. While Rohit made a meal of his poor lengths and lack of variety, Pollard waited patiently for his time to come.
After Rohit departed scoring 70 off 45 balls in the 17th over, Pollard took it upon himself along with Hardik Pandya who was sent with instructions to swing his willow at anything that arrived at him.
The pair added 62 runs in the last over and rocketed MI’s run-rate to finish the innings at a humongous total of 191 runs.
Both players remained not out with Pollard scoring 47 off 20 balls and Hardik scoring 30 off 11.
KL Rahul’s call to give Gowtham last over
Everything went correct for the Punjab captain in the first half of the MI innings. Mumbai had no answers against their fierce pace and they found it difficult even to dispatch Neesham and Ravi Bishnoi with ease. KL had Mumbai and Rohit Sharma reeling under pressure.
And right then, KL made the brave call of bowling out his ace bowler Sheldon Cottrell in the 13th over. A high risk-high reward strategy that could have been hit if Cottrell picked up a wicket but if he did not, Punjab would not have enough specialists to bowl the death overs with.
Cottrell nearly picked up the Mumbai captain’s wicket with a well-hidden slower, but Rohit somehow survived and it meant that KL's strategy had backfired.
This led to him being forced to bowl Krishnappa Gowtham in the final over of the innings against two of the strongest hitters in the cricketing world.
Gowtham gave away 25 runs from the final over and that ended up being a key moment of the game.
Known to be witty in the Twitter world, Jimmy Neesham back in August in one of his classic Twitter exchanges replied in a Q & A session “Anybody who’s disappointed at 50Lakhs to play a game for 2 months needs their head checked.”
Bought for base price in the tournament, Jimmy Neesham in his last three matches has scored a grand total of seven runs and has picked up just a solitary wicket at a dreadful economy of 10.50 runs per over. His poor planning against Rohit Sharma led to the MI captain breaking shackles at a stage that changed the entire complexion of the game.
Given he does not contribute much with the bat and has failed to deliver with the ball, KXIP could potentially try out Mujeeb Ur Rahman instead to add some variety to their attack. KXIP play their next game against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, 4 October and would not get a better chance of overhaul considering how off-colour Chennai have looked in their last two games.
Whatever be, it is clear that the line-up needs a shake-up and certain players need to be reminded of their roles in the team before their ship sinks into oblivion.
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