Cricket

Punjab Kings Vs Mumbai Indians, Match 33, IPL 2024: Three Key Battles To Watch Out For

The two teams are at the bottom half in the IPL 2024 points table, here are the key battles that would decide the course of the game

IPL 2024: MI vs DC
IPL 2024: PBKS take on MI in the key fixture. Photo: AP
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Two bottom-half teams, Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians, will lock horns on Thursday in match 33 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur, Chandigarh. (Preview | Streaming | Match Prediction)

PBKS lost their last match to Rajasthan Royals and find themselves in mid-table but with a better run-rate as compared to their competitors.

MI, on the other hand, are third from bottom with four points and four defeats in the IPL 2024 so far. Hardik Pandya's men lost their last game to CSK at Wankhede Stadium and will look to bounce back with a win over Shikhar Dhawan-less PBKS.

Dhawan will miss Thursday's match against Mumbai Indians, and also remains doubtful for the April 21 game against Gujarat Titans.

"Regarding Shikhar, the medical team will update. As for now, he is under rehab," team's spin-bowling coach Sunil Joshi said at the pre-match press conference.

With the two teams eyeing an vital win, here are the key battles that would decide the course of the game.

1) Jonny Bairstow Vs Jasprit Bumrah

These two know each other very well - from the Test matches. Jonny Bairstow had a poor outing with the bat in the Tests against India and much could be put down to Jasprit Bumrah's pin-point bowling with the red-ball. Forward to April 18, when these two go head-to-head again albeit in IPL as the Englishman eyes revenge against India's numero uno fast bowler. With both teams wanting a win, Bairstow vs Bumrah will be really a mouth-watering contest.

2) Jitesh Sharma vs Gerald Coetzee

PBKS wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma has scored mere 106 runs in this tourney so far but his strike rate is what makes the difference. At 225.53, Sharma's pinch-hitting makes him a dangerous batter down the order as well as in the top-order and that's why he is also on the radar of the BCCI selectors for the upcoming T20 World Cup squad. However, SA's Gerald Coetzee could wreak havoc on Sharma's plans with accurate pace bowling and some neat and tidy lengths. Coetzee has 9 scalps so far and if the Mullanpur track assists the bowlers, the Proteas bowler could have a heyday!

3) Shashank Singh vs Romario Shepherd

PBKS batter Shashank Singh has been one of the bright sparks in the side's almost turbulent IPL season so far. Singh has scored just 146 runs so far in the tourney but his highlight remains the unbeaten 61 against RR and thus he could also be on MI bowler's hitlist. Up against him will be Romario Shepherd, who hasn't hit the heights with the ball but has surely whacked a few with the bat. Both these will be key for their sides in this IPL 2024 match as they hunt for an all-important victory in match 33 of PBKS vs MI.

Squads:

Punjab Kings Squad: Atharva Taide, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Sam Curran(c), Jitesh Sharma(w), Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Ashutosh Sharma, Harpreet Brar, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Vidhwath Kaverappa, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Nathan Ellis, Tanay Thyagarajan, Shivam Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Rilee Rossouw, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Sikandar Raza, Prince Choudhary, Vishwanath Singh.

Mumbai Indians Squad: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya(c), Tim David, Romario Shepherd, Mohammad Nabi, Shreyas Gopal, Gerald Coetzee, Jasprit Bumrah, Akash Madhwal, Dewald Brevis, Naman Dhir, Nehal Wadhera, Harvik Desai, Shams Mulani, Arjun Tendulkar, Kumar Kartikeya, Shivalik Sharma, Anshul Kamboj, Nuwan Thushara, Kwena Maphaka, Luke Wood, Piyush Chawla.

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