Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians
Punjab host Mumbai for their first home match of the season (BCCI Photos)

Game nine of the ongoing Indian T20 League will see the two teams squaring off who have had a similar start to their campaign. Punjab and Mumbai have a win and a defeat from their opening two matches. (READ: Punjab look for home comforts)

Both team’s victories have been marred by controversies. That aside, the teams will be aiming to focus their energies on securing a second win when they take field at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.

Ahead of their clash today, we take a look at the major talking points:-

KL Rahul’s form

Punjab have managed to put up solid batting performances in both their matches. Against Rajasthan, Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Khan fired them to a challenging 184/4 which proved decisive. In the next game, after conceding a 200-plus total against Kolkata, they lost but half-centuries to Mayank Agarwal and David Miller ensured the victory-margin wasn’t wide. However, they will be concerned by the slow start of opener Rahul who has managed five runs across the two innings on surfaces that were batting-friendly. In both the matches, he fell to poor shots – in the first he edged one while trying to pull away at the last moment to be out caught behind and in the second, he chipped one to mid-off for an easy catch. While it’s too early for Punjab to be looking for replacement, the opener will have to produce an innings of substance considering Ravichandran Ashwin’s penchant for making wholesome changes…

Stability or unpredictability?

… which brings to Ashwin’s tactics. Despite securing a win in their season opener, Punjab made four changes to their playing XI. They benched allrounder Sam Curran, spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahim, wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran and uncapped pacer Ankit Rajpoot. The replacements fared decently against Kolkata. Barring the three, it was strange to drop Mujeeb considering the fact that he returned figures of 2/31 and is generally a wicket-taking option. Since Punjab lost despite those changes, will Ashwin make more changes? Or will he take a hint from Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma who kept faith in his XI that lost to Delhi before beating Bangalore?

Unplayable Bumrah

What Virat Kohli is to batting, Jasprit Bumrah is to bowling. Despite a below-par performance in Australia T20Is and against Delhi in Mumbai’s season opener, Bumrah has proved again why he’s regarded as the best T20I bowler. Bumrah vs Kohli was one of the talking points ahead of Mumbai’s clash against Bangalore. Kohli won the first round with three fours against his India teammate. Bumrah then returned in the death overs to turn the match in his team’s favour. After conceding 12 runs in his first over, Bumrah allowed just eight of his remaining three apart from taking three wickets including that of Kohli. In Rahul, Gayle and Miller, Punjab have some of the biggest hitters in world cricket today. Bumrah stopped AB de Villiers and Kohli the on Thursday night. Will he repeat the performance against Punjab batsmen too?

Gayle eyes 300th six

39-year-old Gayle continues to peel off T20 records. On Saturday afternoon, if he manages to hit two more sixes, he’ll become the first batsman in the history of Indian T20 League to hit 300 sixes. On the other hand, Mumbai veteran Yuvraj Singh needs one more six to complete 150 sixes in the league.