IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians faces virtual knockout against KXIP
Mumbai: Despite a late surge, Mumbai Indians are in danger of not making the play-offs after a crucial loss against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. But all is not over for Rohit Sharma and Co. who can progress to the next stage with two straight wins provided other results go their way.
In a virtual knockout match, Mumbai take on Kings XI Punjab here on Wednesday. The defending champions can reach a maximum of 14 points. A better net run rate will be advantageous to them if Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders lose at least one of their remaining two games. “We haven’t been up to the mark at Wankhede. Otherwise the mood is pretty good in the team. We know we have to win two games and anything can happen,” said Mumbai wicketkeeper Aditya Tare who hit a famous six in the last league game at Brabourne in 2014 to seal a play-off berth for MI.
Tare hasn’t started a match this season and his only appearance was as a substitute for first-choice wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan. “We haven’t clicked as a team,” he added. Mumbai will do themselves a huge favour if they beat their opponents KXIP on Wednesday. R. Ashwin’s side suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Indore on Monday and a further slip-up on Wednesday will severally dent their play-off chances after a great start to the tournament. The hosts must also beat Delhi Daredevils in their last league game in Delhi to harbour qualification hopes. DD are out of contention but RCB’s situation is similar to Mumbai’s.
The home side has got good starts from openers Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis but middle order has been inconsistent. Rohit needs to step up to provide stability in the middle-order. Mumbai haven’t traditionally experimented much and it has cost them this season. They have the bowlers but the discipline has been missing. Leg-spinner Mayank Markande has failed to reproduce his early season form. Kings XI have a threatening top-order in the form of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle but they lack the punch in middle-order. Bowling has also been iffy and the likes of Ashwin and Andrew Tye will hope to deliver in the crucial game.