© AFP
MI will look to regain some momentum against an under-performing KXIP © AFP

Table-enders Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will play host to the lacklustre Mumbai Indians (MI) in Match 21 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Mohali. Both teams have been poor so far in the tournament, with MI losing 4 of their 6 matches so far, and KXIP losing 4 out of 5. Both MI and KXIP have a terrible net run rate as well: -0.528 and -1.131 respectively. Neither team has found any momentum whatsoever, but while this is an unnervingly familiar scenario for KXIP, MI too are accustomed to poor starts. Live Cricket Scorecard:Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2016 Match 21 at Mohali

KXIP have not utilised their resources well. Players like Anureet Singh, Armaan Jaffer, KC Cariappa, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh, and Shardul Thakur have been grossly under-utilised or ignored completely. With the team struggling to string together decent performances, it is perhaps time to look beyond the tried and tested players.

On the other hand, MI are yet to settle on the ideal team as well. Parthiv Patel has proven a failure at the top of the order, and could be replaced by Unmukt Chand. Corey Anderson is waiting in the wings for a chance to shine. Young Indian bowlers like Nathu Singh and Kishore Kamath are exciting prospects who are yet to be tested.

That is not to say that neither team have found good uncapped players. Pardeep Sahu has often out-bowled Akshar Patel for KXIP, while Krunal Pandya has proven himself an invaluable asset for MI; more so than his younger brother Hardik who recently played for India in T20 World Cup 2016. However, barring the odd exception both teams have stuck to known players, many of whom are yet to come good.

Sadly for both teams, the big players have not managed to step up. Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, David Miller, and Kyle Abbott have all been pedestrian and only Shaun Marsh has looked good for KXIP. Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra have done well in patches, but Wriddhiman Saha has looked like a fish out of water. Akshar Patel and Sandeep Sharma have been poor by their usual standards. With KXIP’s core team failing to come good, it is no surprise that they are currently languishing at the bottom of the table.

On the other hand, MI have not been much better. Skipper Rohit Sharma has done well with the bat, but he has often waged a lone battle. Jos Buttler batted well against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) but did little of note beyond that. Kieron Pollard scored a few runs against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) but that has been his only contribution so far. Harbhajan Singh. Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya have not looked at their best, though Ambati Rayudu has stepped up on occasion. Tim Southee has been MI’s best bowler, but Mitchell McClenaghan has not done much.

As things stand, this is a battle between two of the least impressive sides of IPL 2016. However, whichever team wins here could use the victory as a launching pad and try to string together a few victories. MI hold the advantage, but not by a big margin.

Squads:

Kings XI Punjab:David Miller (c), Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Abbott, Anureet Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Farhaan Behardien, KC Cariappa, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh, Nikhil Naik, Akshar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Pardeep Sahu, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Shardul Thakur.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ambati Rayudu, Jagadeesha Suchith, Jasprit Bumrah, Parthiv Patel, Vinay Kumar, Shreyas Gopal, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Unmukt Chand, Akshay Wakhare, Mitchell McClenaghan, Corey Anderson, Kieron Pollard, Marchant de Lange, Jos Buttler, Nathu Singh, Tim Southee, Krunal Pandya, Kishore Kamath, Deepak Punia, Jitesh Sharma.

Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he loves watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)