Mumbai seeking six wins on the trot as they take on Punjab
In-form Mumbai will look to continue their terrific run when they take on Punjab and make it six wins on the bounce, matching the franchise record which they set in 2008 and repeated in 2017.
Punjab, who ended their five-match losing streak with a nervy win over Bangalore, will treat every game must-win to salvage their hopes of making it to the playoffs.
Here are the key facts from the contest:
Dhawal trouble against Punjab?
Mumbai have a pretty set line-up and made only a couple of changes since the start of the season, by far the fewest of any team in the league. However, they could be tempted to bring in veteran pacer Dhawal Kulkarni for the game against Punjab, specifically for his record against Chris Gayle and KL Rahul.
In seven matches against Chris Gayle, Kulkarni has conceded just 60 runs in 50 balls against the big West Indian and dismissed him on four occasions. Against KL Rahul, the Mumbai native has given away 35 runs in 30 balls and dismissed him four times, a terrific return against one of the best batsmen in the league.
Mumbai are unlikely to play around much with their line-up but if there was a game Mumbai could use Kulkarni in, it would be the one against Punjab on Sunday.
Players to watch out
Mumbai – Quinton de Kock
South African skipper Quinton de Kock has been in terrific touch of late, winning back-to-back Man of the Match awards with some sensational displays with the bat in his past two outings. The opener scored a measured half-century against Delhi before smashing a brilliant unbeaten 77 against Kolkata, guiding Mumbai to victories. With de Kock setting the tempo, Mumbai's already formidable batting line-up looks even scarier to contend with.
Punjab – Mayank Agarwal
Promoted to the top of the order, Mayank Agarwal is having his best season with the bat in the Indian T20 League and has already scored 382 runs in eight matches, 50 more than he managed in all of last season. Agarwal is closing in on his first 400-run campaign and will be eager to do it against Mumbai, a team he has historically struggled against. In 12 matches against the four-time champions, Agarwal has scored just 200 runs at an average of 20. Punjab are heavily reliant on their openers and will need them to fire against the most in-form team in the league.
Stats to watch out
1: A fifty by Chris Gayle will see him match Suresh Raina's record of six half-centuries against Mumbai, the most by any player in the league.
6.28: Jasprit Bumrah has a career economy rate of just 6.28 against Punjab, the best by any bowler against the side.
21: Rohit Sharma needs 21 runs to become the first player in franchise history to score 4000 for the team.
62.88: Punjab skipper KL Rahul boasts of an average of 62.88 against Mumbai in the league. He’s scored 503 runs in 11 matches against Mumbai but is yet to breach the 400-run mark against any other team in the league.
71: All-rounder Kieron Pollard needs 71 runs to complete 3000 runs for Mumbai in the league. He could become the second player after Sharma to reach the landmark.
Mumbai have absolutely no weakness from top to bottom, while Punjab remain completely reliant on their top order. An easy Mumbai victory is on the cards this Sunday.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain