Mumbai Indians looked really, really good in the last game. They looked good not because they batted well – but because they won in spite of putting up their worst batting display so far in IPL 2019.
And that is thanks to outstanding bowling on debut by the young West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph. Before last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, you’d have been excused for asking “Alzarri who?”
But now, after producing the best bowling figures in the history of IPL on debut, and defending a low score of just 130 odd runs for his team everyone is saying “Alzarri WOW!!”
That is what makes IPL so special. It makes heroes out of players nobody knew about just days ago. Today all eyes will be on this young fast bowler, who was brought in as a temporary replacement for Lasith Malinga, but looks set to mark his place in the side permanently.
Alzarri Joseph has one thing that makes his special – pace. Pure pace, a precious commodity which few other bowlers have. Also. He is accurate – pace and accuracy, that is a terrific combination in T20 cricket.
Kings XI won their last game because of an excellent performance by KL Rahul, who is someone who blows hot and cold. Good one day, terrible the next. But what everyone wants to see is how Alzarri takes on Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss. That is a clash for the ages.
Kings XI are likely to ring in a few changes. David Miller has done precious little in his IPL career, but he has been a consistent feature of every Kings XI line-up since 2012. We don’t know why, but obviously the owners like him a lot.
It would actually make better sense to play all-rounder Moises Henriques instead of Miller. He would add better balance to the side because of his bowling and could hardly perform worse than Miller with the bat!
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Joseph, Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendorff
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller/Moises Henriques, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahaman, Ankit Rajpoot
Prediction: Expect another superlative performance by the Mumbai Indians team, who are fast emerging as the favorites for IPL 2019. They should win this match easily.