Defending champions Mumbai take on Punjab in Match No.42 of the Indian T20 League on Tuesday, September 27 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. This is a must-win match for both Mumbai and Punjab as they aim to make a late push for playoffs. The two sides will lock horns in the second match on a blockbuster Tuesday.
1. Head-to-head record
Mumbai have had a slight upper hand in this fixture over the years, winning 14 out of 27 meetings between the two sides. Earlier this season in April, It was KL Rahul’s Punjab who went on to win the contest by 9 wickets with more than 2 overs to spare.
2. UAE factor
The two teams had clashed twice in UAE last year with Mumbai and Punjab winning one game each. Talking about the pitch, both pace bowlers and spinners can have a huge impact in this contest. Mumbai’s bowling attack has not been able to perform up to the expectations of their fans in the second half of the league. They have played one match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi this season, where they lost to Kolkata by 7 wickets. Meanwhile, this will be Punjab’s first match at this ground this season.
3. Form of players
The openers of both the teams, Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have been in good form while the middle order of both teams has not fired on all cylinders. Mumbai’s middle-order consisting of Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya is definitely better than Punjab middle order, which has Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran and Deepak Hooda.
Even though both teams have not been at their best since the resumption of the tournament, Mumbai have a slight edge due to their better middle-order and superior bowling quality. The match is likely to be a hard-fought contest. However, considering Mumbai’s ability to bounce back strongly after suffering defeats, the team of the day is Mumbai.