Against a robust pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Trent Boult, KXIP will bank on Universe Boss Chris Gayle.
Gayle, who played his maiden game this season against Royal Challengers Bangalore, can easily dominate the marquee fast bowlers.
Let us analyze his IPL performance against MI.
Gayle is the eighth-highest run-scorer in the IPL.
In 126 games, he has amassed 4,537 runs at an average of 41.24.
He also owns most number of IPL tons (6).
Notably, he is the highest run-scorer from KXIP against MI, having scored 640 runs from 17 matches at a strike-rate of 135.02.
He has scored these runs at an average of 42.66.
Over the years, Gayle has slammed 40 sixes and 56 fours against MI. His tally of sixes is the highest in the IPL against them. He is followed by Suresh Raina (35) on the list. Meanwhile, Gayle's highest score against MI (93*) came in 2013.
It is interesting to note that none of the incumbent MI pacers have dismissed Gayle in the IPL.
As of now, Gayle has managed to score 30 runs off 40 balls by the dangerous Jasprit Bumrah.
He has also smashed Nathan Coulter-Nile for 20 runs off 21 balls in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Gayle has racked up nine runs off six balls by Trent Boult.
There is a stark contrast between strike-rates of Gayle against MI. He has scored 288 runs from 17 matches at a strike-rate of 119.01 in the powerplay against them. Meanwhile, his strike-rate surges to 207.69, when playing in the death overs (vs MI).
Even after roping in Chris Gayle, KXIP continued with KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal as the opening pair against RCB.
The decision drew criticism as Gayle has always been more effective at the top.
However, KXIP will be happy to look at Gayle's last four innings against MI (50, 18, 40, and 63).
It remains to be seen if he can fire this time.
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