Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings portray contrasting pictures with their performances so far in IPL 2023.
While Mumbai started the season with two defeats, Punjab had back-to-back wins to begin with. But thereafter, the scenario changed completely. Mumbai have roared back with a hat-trick of wins, but Punjab have managed to win only one game out of the four they played after their double-win start.
That kind of sums up the scene for Saturday’s match at the Wankhede. Mumbai look to be in prime position to continue their winning run.
What went wrong for Punjab? Just one thing it seems — injury to captain Shikhar Dhawan. Ever since Dhawan hurt his shoulder, Punjab’s batting has looked rudderless and vulnerable. Their batting line-up lacks a solid hand and the likes of Prabhsimran Singh and Harpreet Singh have not looked confident of carrying bigger responsibilities.
Questionable team selection hasn’t helped Punjab either. They dropped Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza after he played a Man-of-the-Match winning knock.
Mumbai have no such worries, with almost all their players gradually getting into the groove. Captain Rohit Sharma is batting better and Suryakumar Yadav too seems to have found his way back to runs.
While Punjab will continue to be without Dhawan, Mumbai can hope to get Jofra Archer back in action on Saturday. The England speedster has been bowling without discomfort at nets and says he’s trying to put himself in “the best position possible (to play)”.
■ Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, 7.30pm, Wankhede, live on Star Sports & Jio Cinema