MOHALI, March 29: A controversy-laden first two games at their back, Kings XI Punjab will look to exploit familiar conditions in their first home match of the IPL when they take on Mumbai Indians here on Saturday.
It has been a roller-coaster ride for KXIP, having to endure a controversy involving their captain Ravichandran Ashwin who �Mankaded� Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in their first match, an act which was legal but criticised by some as against the �Spirit of Cricket�.
In their second game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Ashwin�s team was penalised for not keeping four men in the 30-yard circle and Andre Russell made full use of the reprieve to take the game away from KXIP.
Ashwin and Co. will now look to forget all these unsavoury happenings of the first two games and start afresh in their first match at the PCA Stadium on Saturday.
With the tournament still in its early stages and the two teams having won a game each, the balance is not tilted in anyone�s favour and the Saturday�s tie is expected to be a keenly fought one.
The two rival sides boast of some star players in their line-up and each team will hope for the best when it matters.
KXIP, who are yet to win an IPL title, opened their campaign this season on a winning note against Rajasthan Royals. But, the match caught the headlines more for Ashwin�s �Mankading� of Buttler that triggered a dramatic collapse for the Royals. Kings XI eventually won by 14 runs.
That particular game also saw KXIP�s opener Chris Gayle in prime form as he blasted 79 off just 47 balls while Sarfaraz Khan remained unbeaten on 46 off 29, giving the Ashwin-led side a boost in the batting department.
Against KKR, the KXIP lost by 28 runs after chasing a mammoth 219 for victory even though Mayank Aggarwal and David Miller impressed with their batting.
Andre Russell�s sensational 17-ball 48, Robin Uthappa�s 67 not out and Nitish Rana�s 63 left KXIP bowlers in a daze. Even the likes of Ashwin and speedster Mohammed Shami did not have an answer to KKR�s blitzkrieg.
For KXIP, opener Lokesh Rahul is yet to hit his top form, managing just five runs from previous two outings, and he will be hoping to get back to his best in Mohali. � PTI
Match starts at 4 pm