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Other SportsIPL 2024: Punjab Kings v Mumbai Indians - preview, expected line-ups, free...

IPL 2024: Punjab Kings v Mumbai Indians – preview, expected line-ups, free bets and offers

The State of Play

The Mumbai Indians will look to get back to winning ways in IPL 2024 against the Punjab Kings after their mini-resurgence was ended by the Chennai Super Kings last time out.

The five-time champions have resembled a disjointed outfit this season under new captain Hardik Pandya but showed signs of life with wins over the Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

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However, they underperformed once again against CSK with only Rohit Sharma earning credit with a magnificent 105 not out. 

It was another tough outing for Pandya, who conceded 26 off the final over of CSK’s innings – MS Dhoni smashing three sixes – before making just two with the bat.

It inevitably led to another wave of criticism but Pandya found an ally in team-mate Kieron Pollard. The West Indian said: “I don’t know if it will affect his confidence. He is a confident guy, he has been great around the group. 

“In cricket, you have good days and bad days and I am seeing an individual who is working bloody hard to improve his skills and plying his trade.

“I am sick and fed up of [us] looking to pinpoint individuals; cricket is a team game at the end of the day. This is an individual that is going to represent the country in less than six weeks’ time, and all are going to cheer him and want him to do well. So high time we try to encourage and stop nitpicking and see if we can get the best out of one of the great all-rounders India has produced. He can bat, bowl and field, and has a X-factor about him.

“I hope very well deep down within my heart that when he comes out on top, I’ll sit back and watch everyone sing his praises.”

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If the Indians are to bounce back and start a charge towards the play-offs they will have to do it the hard way with four successive away games, starting tomorrow in Mullanpur against a Punjab side that have fared little better than their opponents.

Shikhar Dhawan’s men have also won two of their six games in IPL 2024 so far and come into this contest on the back of a defeat – a three-wicket loss to the Rajasthan Royals in a low-scoring affair.

They will have to do without Dhawan tomorrow as he is nursing a shoulder injury with England international Sam Curran again set to deputise.

Kings coach Sanjay Bangar said: “Having an experienced opener, somebody like Shikhar, who has experience of playing on such wickets, becomes extremely crucial [for the team].

“We have to wait and see how he responds to the treatment. At the moment, it seems that he could be out of action for at least seven-ten days.”

His absence places further emphasis on the likes of Jonny Bairstow (96 runs in six innings), Prabhsimran Singh (119 in six) and Jitesh Sharma (106 in six) to find some form, and quickly.

Bangar added: “It’s certainly is a cause for concern that the top order is not making enough runs for us.

“They are trying hard – I am not saying that they are not applying themselves – but it’s just not coming. Low-scoring games, especially at Mullanpur, the way the wicket is… that also has a factor. Because if you see, some of the scores have been pretty low.”

Expected line-ups

Punjab Kings: Taide, Bairstow, P Singh, Curran (c), Sharma (wk), S Singh, Livingstone, Brar, Patel, Rabada, A Singh

Mumbai Indians: Sharma, Kishan (wk), Yadav, Varma, Pandya (c), David, Shepherd, Nabi, Gopal, Bumrah, Coetzee

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the IPL to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Thursday’s match will be shown on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.50pm BST.

In India, the games can be streamed on the Jio Cinema app and website. They are also available across the Star Sports Network.

Prediction

The Kings batters are woefully out of form and Dhawan’s absence makes them look even more fragile.

It may take just one innings to sway what is likely to be another low-scoring game in Mullanpur and in the likes of Sharma and Ishan Kishan the Indians have the edge.

We’re going for Pandya to have a better evening and guide his side to a much-needed win.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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