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PJB and MUM in the hunt for a morale-boosting win

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Punjab will take on Mumbai in Match 13 of the 2020 Indian T20 League season at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, October 1.

Both teams have identical records of a win and two losses and both would argue that their record doesn’t reflect their play this season thus far. Either side will be eager to not slump to a third defeat this campaign in what is expected to be an explosive contest given the batting talent on show.

Here’s what you need to know about the match:

Rahul's ravishing record against Mumbai

Nobody loves playing against Mumbai as much as KL Rahul. The Punjab skipper has an incredible record against the defending champions and will look to continue that form on Thursday. Here are top run-getters against Mumbai since 2016:

Player

Mat

Inn

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

Balls

SR

Lokesh Rahul

6

6

3

380

100*

126.67

268

141.79

Ajinkya Rahane

10

10

1

368

66*

40.89

280

131.43

Shikhar Dhawan

8

8

2

322

82*

53.67

242

133.06

AB de Villiers

8

8

2

316

75

52.67

214

147.66

Virat Kohli

9

9

1

303

92*

37.88

238

127.31

Not only is Rahul the top-scorer, but he also has a tremendous strike rate of 141.79. With MUM's bowling unit yet to click, we could be in for another monstrous performance from the KXIP skipper.

Can Bumrah bamboozle Punjab again?

Teams  Runs   Balls   Wicket  Bowling avg  SR  Econ rate 
Chennai 260 208 6 43.33 34.67 7.5
Delhi  325 240 11 29.55 21.82 8.13
Punjab  244 226 12 20.33 18.83 6.48
Kolkata  331 240 11 30.09 21.82 8.28
Rajasthan 159 132 7 22.71 18.86 7.23
Bangalore  424 324 16 26.5 20.25 7.85
Hyderabad  230 200 10 23 20 6.9

When it comes to Jasprit Bumrah's status as one of the best white-ball bowlers on the planet. However, the 26-year-old, coming off a lengthy layoff, has been awful so far this season and is conceding over 10 runs an over thus far. However, this upcoming match against PJB could be exactly what he needs, given his record against them.

As the table suggests, Bumrah has picked more wickets in the Indian T20 League against only one other side. His economy and strike rate against PJB is better than against any other team. Could Bumrah mark a return to form in this match?

Players to watch out for

Punjab – Mayank Agarwal

Few would have predicted Mayank Agarwal to be in the hunt for the Orange Cap, but three games in, the 29-year-old is just a run behind teammate and skipper Rahul at the top of the run-scorers leaderboard. Agarwal has played two incredible knocks so far this season – 80 against Delhi and a century against Rajasthan – and the batsman will be aiming to continue his purple patch and push his opening partner in the race for the Orange Cap.

Mumbai – Ishan Kishan

The inclusion of Ishan Kishan in place of Saurabh Tiwary raised a few eyebrows given the latter's decent form but the young batsman justified his selection with the knock of his life, falling just a run shy of what would have been a well-deserved century. Kishan has had a stop-start career in the Indian T20 League and has failed to cement his spot in the Mumbai line-up since joining them in 2018, but given how outstanding he was in his last outing, he’ll surely be getting an extended run in the side and it will be up to him to deliver and solidify his place in MUM's stacked batting line-up.

Stats to watch out for

2: MI skipper Rohit Sharma needs just two runs to reach the 5,000-run mark in the series. The 33-year-old will become only the third man after Chennai's Suresh Raina and Royal Challengers Bangalore's Virat Kohli to achieve this feat.s

10: Sharma also needs just 10 runs to complete 600 runs against PJB. They could become the fifth team after Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore to have conceded 600 runs against Sharma.

14: KL Rahul needs 14 runs to complete 500 runs against MUM. His 486 runs are the most he’s managed against a team in the Indian T20 League.

50: Both teams have enjoyed a 50% win record against the other on matches that have taken place on grounds other than the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.

165: The average first innings score at Abu Dhabi in IPL 2020.

Writer’s pick

With Jasprit Bumrah out of form, MUM are a significantly weaker bowling unit. PJB have two batsmen in KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal who are in terrific form. Due to these factors, PJB certainly have the edge in this contest.

Think you know more? We have a fantasy game lined up for you.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain

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