The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is entering its crucial phase. Meanwhile, defending champions Mumbai Indians would be taking on Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Match 36, in Dubai, on Sunday. It is a clash of table-toppers against the table-bottomers.

Both the teams have had a conflicting difference this season. While MI have won six from eight and lost two, it is completely the vice-versa for KXIP. Nonetheless, we present the match preview of this fascinating contest.

Team composition
As for the teams of both sides, there is a dissimilarity. While MI have a star-studded side, with emphasis on bowling, KXIP are balanced in most of the departments. However, it is the latter's bowling that has caused them troubles this season.

Current form
Both the teams have a resemblance in the current form, as both are coming off winning performances. While MI beat fellow former champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), convincingly, on Friday, KXIP did the same against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday.

Head-to-head
As for their head-on clashes so far, both have played each other on 25 occasions, with MI winning 14 times, and KXIP winning on 11 instances. Their previous clash was won by MI, which also happened to be their first-ever clash in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Weather and pitch conditions
As for the weather in Dubai, it is expected to be a hot one, with temperature likely to be around 36 degrees, along with 27% humidity. The track would once again be on the semi-slower side, with teams likely to bat first after winning the toss. The pitches have started to wear and tear, making it viable for the bowlers in the second innings.

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Predicted XI
MI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.
KXIP: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (c)(wk), Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, James Neesham/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sarfaraz Khan, Murugan Ashwin/Krishnappa Gowtham, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi.

Dream XI
Batsmen:
Mayank, Gayle, Rohit- Gayle, along with Rohit can give the perfect start, while Mayank can consolidate in the middle-order.
Wicketkeepers: Rahul (vc), Pooran, de Kock (c)- Rahul can bat at number three, while de Kock and Pooran's fine form is ideal for the middle-order. Rahul delicate form with the bat and the gloves makes him the vice-captain, while de Kock is the skipper for the same.
All-rounders: Pandya, Pollard- The duo have been in a deadly form with the bat and can decimate any bowling attack.
Bowlers: Shami, Boult, Bumrah​- The bowling attack should ideally consist the pacers, as the trio of Shami, Boult and Bumrah have been lethal this season and are no-brainers in the side.

Players to watch out:
Rohit-
The skipper has been doing a fine job for MI as the captain. However, it is his batting that needs to fire, as a big innings, which is eagerly awaited from him, could come in this tie.
Rahul- The wicketkeeper-batsman and KXIP skipper has been their top performer with the bat, as the side would once again rely on his services to dominate with the bat.
Bumrah- The lethal bowler was in a rough patch initially. However, he is getting back into the groove, as we can expect him to pick up some wickets in this match.