Mumbai, Punjab to face off in the hills

Mumbai are in the play-offs, but Punjab are out of the title race.

The picturesque HPCA stadium.

Having been eliminated from the play-off race on Friday when SunRisers Hyderabad beat Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab will not have much to play for when they take on table-toppers Mumbai Indians at the HPCA Stadium here on Saturday.

Mumbai Indians are already guaranteed a top two spot and Champions League qualification with 11 wins in 15 matches, and are looking to maintain the winning momentum and their top spot in the points tally.

Mumbai have one of the strongest batting line-ups in the league. They have the likes of a fit-again Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik, skipper Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard.

However, given the situation, Mumbai may want to rest some of their key players.

The pitch here assists pacers and it’s likely that Mumbai will play with four pacers on Saturday.

They have Mitchell Johnson, with 22 wickets in 14 matches, Sri Lankan ace Lasith Malinga, Abu Nechim Ahmed and Dhawal Kulkarni in the fast bowling department.

Among their spinners, Harbhajan Singh, with 18 scalps in 15 matches, and Pragyan Ojha have kept the batsmen in check, but there is a possibility that one among them might not be picked due to the nature of the wicket.

Although Punjab lost the away tie against Mumbai, they can take inspiration from their wins over a strong side like Bangalore, both home and away, and the fact that Mumbai will be playing at the mountain venue for the first time.

The Punjab batting line-up can give any bowling attack a run for its money. Skipper Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh have the ability to provide the team a fiery start.

Azhar Mahmood was offcolour in the last match but he could be effective both with the bat and ball, while David Miller can snatch the match away from any opponent.

Punjab have a balanced bowling attack and they can go with the same combination as against Delhi where four pacers in Praveen Kumar, Azhar Mahmood, Sandeep Sharma and Parvinder Awana played.

Mumbai could rest key players in their last league match but would be keen to retain top spot

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »