The head to head record of the two teams read 20-6 in favor of Mumbai Indians, and it seems that Kolkata Knight Riders just don’t know how to win against MI.
The defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) might have made a slow start, but they enter into this encounter after ripping off every team they have faced of late and with a proud four-win streak. With an explosive batting line-up, a lethal bowling attack, an agile bunch of fielders, the MI setup is a perfect recipe for an envious and dominating team. And “dominating” will be the aptest term to describe their performance against the side they will be up against on Friday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
The head-to-head record of the two teams read 20-6 in favor of Mumbai, and it seems that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) just do not know how to win against MI. That Rohit Sharma’s brigade will be in search of their fifth victory is one more daunting streak to break for KKR, who are coming into this match after a thrashing defeat of 82 runs against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their last game.
They were the victims of an ABD masterclass (33-ball 73) that led RCB to 194 for two on a degraded Sharjah track. Coming to chase, there was hardly anything for the batsmen to show with Shubman Gill (34 from 25) ending up as the highest scorer.
The Knight Riders have had their share of success this time and they have come out victorious from positions where victory has looked simply far-fetched. Just managing to hang themselves in the slot of contention i.e. the top-four, the issues have been many for the team this year, and they would not want to rely on luck progressing into the second half of the tournament.
The last time KKR met MI, the latter shone with both bat and ball and managed a comfortable victory by 49 runs at this very venue. The fortunes for MI have been strong at Abu Dhabi, where they have won four out of a total of five encounters this season. In this game, they are coming after thrashing the Delhi Capitals by five wickets. The victory took them to the top of the table, however, the position was always going to be short-lived given the Capitals’ run this year. Nevertheless, MI have been showing what they are made of.
Pitch and conditions
The track at Abu Dhabi has assisted the bowlers much more than the batsmen. With almost all the track getting slower with time, one can expect the spinners to rule the roost in this encounter. Opting to bat after winning the toss has been a template this year and that seems to be the way forward given the slowness of the strip.
Playing Combinations for MI vs KKR
Mumbai Indians Probable XI
Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav’s identical 53-run knock guided MI to a convincing chase against DC in the last game. Though Rohit Sharma failed to make it count, he has been amongst the runs this time. Ishan Kishan once again played a crucial hand of 28 in the middle-order and will pick himself alongside Kieron Pollard and Pandya brothers.
A major reason behind MI’s brilliant run with the ball has been the clicking pace trio of James Pattinson, Trent Boult, and Jasprit Bumrah, although Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar’s role will be important from here with the tracks becoming increasingly assistive for the spinners.
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Kolkata Knight Riders Probable XI
Sunil Narine did not play the last game after his bowling action came under the scanner, and the opening duties were given to Tom Banton alongside Shubman Gill. This was despite Rahul Tripathi performing in the slot. The constant chopping and changing – they have tried three different combinations thus far – in the top-order- has disturbed the team balance for KKR, and they would want to fix it sooner than later.
Nitesh Rana, Eoin Morgan, and skipper Dinesh Karthik all failed to contribute in the last game, whereas Andre Russell has not been at his marauding best this season either. The famed batting line-up will need to up the ante this time around. Pat Cummins will lead the pace attack alongside two promising Indian pacers – Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Prasidh Krishna.
Tom Banton/Chris Green, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (C) (WK), Andre Russell, Rahul Tripathi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Pat Cummins
MI vs KKR Head to Head
Played- 26 | MI won- 20 | KKR won- 6 | NR- 0
Match Timings- 7:30 PM (IST), 6:00 PM (Local).
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 Hindi
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