After a bitter 20 run loss against CSK, MI will be looking to get their campaign back on track by putting in a collective performance. They will mostly have their skipper Rohit Sharma back at the top. Also, all-rounder, Hardik Pandya should be back among the mix. The duo’s absence was felt as MI failed to overhaul CSK’s target.
The duo’s return should allow the other batters to bat freely. The bowling looked fine for MI with Trent Boult and Adam Milne bowling superbly in powerplay against CSK. It was during the death overs that the MI bowlers leaked some runs. Krunal Pandya has not been effective for the team and it remains to be seen if the MI management persists with him.
On the other hand, KKR got off to a brilliant start as they beat RCB by nine wickets. Their bowling, as well as batting, clicked in unison and that should augur well for the team in the remaining games. If Varun Chakravarthy was brilliant with the ball by picking three wickets, then debutant Venkatesh Iyer too looked composed scoring an unbeaten 41.
The KKR management should be more than happy with batting performance against RCB as that what the one aspect which troubled them in the first leg. All-rounder Andre Russell too was good with the ball in hand and so was Prasidh Krishna. The team has confidence and momentum and should fancy their chances of beating MI.
The match is going to take place at Abu Dhabi in Sheikh Zayed Stadium. During that match, the pitch became easier for batting during the second innings, and both Eoin Morgan and Rohit Sharma will look to chase after winning the toss.
Mumbai Indians (MI)
Rohit Sharma/Anmolpreet Singh, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Sourabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Milne.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna.
The MI batter Suryakumar Yadav had a rare failure against CSK as he scored only three runs. But a class and in-form player like Yadav cannot be kept quiet for a long time. During the last edition of the IPL, the right-hand batter thrived on the UAE pitches and that should give him the confidence of doing well again. Also, Yadav is an excellent player of spin and should be able to negate the threat of KKR’s spinners.
Andre Russell turned the match on its head when he got the wicket of AB de Villiers. The KKR all-rounder is the heartbeat of the team, owing to his X factor and game-changing abilities. If Russell scores and picks wickets, KKR inevitably win games. Also, the encounter against MI is crucial for KKR as a win in this game can push them to the fourth spot. So the big West Indian all-rounder would be keen to contribute.