Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians, Abu Dhabi
No reason to look past KL Rahul, and law of averages should work vis-a-vis Quinton Kock.
Our XI: Quinton de Kock, KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Kieron Pollard, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, M Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi
Substitutes: Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, Chris Jordan, Jasprit Bumrah
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Player availability: All players are available for selection.
Captain: KL Rahul
He is in sublime touch after scoring 201 runs in his last two innings. The last time these two teams met, Rahul scored an unbeaten 100 off 64 balls, in Mumbai. The average first-innings score at this venue this season has been 165, suggesting players like Rahul who take their time initially and then accelerate could prosper.
Vice-captain: Quinton de Kock
De Kock has to start firing should the Mumbai Indians aim to go the distance in the tournament. He started off well against the Super Kings but has had a couple of quiet innings after that. Having an average of 43 in three innings against the Kings XI, he will look to replicate that if not better it. De Kock has scored at 148.2 in the powerplay in T20s since 2018, while the Kings XI bowlers have gone at 7.33 in the powerplay this season.
Suryakumar Yadav: After getting in the groove in the game against the Knight Riders, Yadav ran himself out for 47. Coming off a duck against the Royals Challengers, he will be determined to make amends in this match.
Kieron Pollard: Pollard has been used by Rohit to fill in a few overs on these big grounds, when there is not much help for his main bowlers. The 24-ball 60 he scored against the Royal Challengers Bangalore has brought back his hitting form as well. He could get you points with both bat and ball, especially if he bats slightly up the order.
Nicholas Pooran: After a couple of ordinary games, Pooran got back to his usual self with a cameo against the Royals, against whom he scored an eight-ball 25. Pooran should fancy scoring against the Mumbai Indians' bowling attack given they have a legspinner and a left-arm spinner in their ranks. In T20s since 2017, he has scored at 167.46 against legspin and 149.41 against left-arm orthodox spin.
Ravi Bishnoi: On a day when all bowlers went for at least 9.50 runs per over, Bishnoi went just for 8.50, on a relatively small ground against the Royals. He showed a lot of guile and character against some big hitting. He could certainly be a difference-maker in your team.
Trent Boult: Boult has been performing consistently for the Mumbai Indians but has been overshadowed by the reputation of Bumrah. He has picked up five wickets in three games at an economy of 7.67, taking least one wicket in each game so far.
If a fresh pitch is used for this game, going in with two legspinners may not be ideal. So replace M Ashwin with Mohammed Shami.
If both Kings XI legspinners play, Ishan Kishan is definitely an option. Depending on whether the Mumbai Indians bat first or second, replace one of their batsman with Kishan. Rohit has an average of 27 while chasing and Yadav 35.10, so if the Mumbai Indians bat first, replace Kishan with Yadav, and if they bat second, drop Rohit for Kishan.
Keep an eye out for Chris Jordan as well as he may replace Sheldon Cottrell. Jordan bowls at the death, meaning there is a high probability of his getting wickets. It can be a toss-up between Shami and Jordan ahead of one of the legspinners.