The IPL carnival has shifted to UAE for the 2nd leg. Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians arrive at Abu Dhabi with contrasting results in their first game at UAE. While KKR stunned RCB to romp home with a 9-wicket win, MI suffered a crushing loss against CSK. MI has been KKR’s bogey team. It will be interesting to see how they fare against an already hurt MI side, MI vs KKR will be Really interesting.
MI vs KKR: Preview
Mumbai Indians: Form
Mumbai Indians fell short in the first game of the UAE leg against arch-rivals CSK. They had CSK on the mat having restricted them to 24-4 in the powerplay. But they not just let CSK off the hook but dug themselves a hole in that game. MI’s batting wore a thin look in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya. Rohit Sharma is expected to return for this game. His presence will be a big boost for MI who visibly lacked firepower in the CSK game. MI will expect better returns from their bowlers in the death overs too. It is not beyond MI though to make a stirring comeback that too against their favourite team.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Form
Kolkata Knight Riders put out a stunning show against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the same venue. A pitch that had something in it for the spinners, it were the KKR seamers who rocked RCB. Prasidh Krishna set the early tempo dismissing Virat Kohli in the 2nd over of the game. Lockie Ferguson who finally got a game dislodged Devdutt Padikkal in the last ball of the powerplay. But it was Andre Russell who delivered the killer blow. He got Srikar Bharat and AB de Villiers on two successive deliveries. Varun Chakravarthy then picked Glenn Maxwell and Wanindu Hasaranga. It was a thorough bowling performance. They restricted RCB to 92. It was a brilliant team bowling performance.
KKR openers (Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer) then batted with great intent to overhaul the chase in 10 overs. This lifted KKR to a positive Net Run Rate and brought them back into the reckoning. KKR will now be eager to put up another giant-killing performance against Mumbai Indians. If they are able to do that then KKR will surely be a hot favourite to make the playoffs.
MI vs KKR: Favourites?
Mumbai Indians are currently tied with Rajasthan Royals on 4 wins in 8 games. They will like to avoid the mid-table jam heading into the business end of the tournament. MI will look to extend their domination over KKR.
KKR looked like a resurgent outfit when they took on RCB in their first game of the UAE leg. They will desperately want to get over another hurdle in form of MI against whom they have a disastrous record. But KKR’s hunger might just help them overcome MI in this game.
Which players will be match-winners in this game?
Trent Boult is arguably one of the finest new-ball bowlers in the current generation. He will be the key in the powerplay.
Andre Russell looked in red hot form with the ball in the game against RCB. Russell had even picked a five-fer last time these two sides met.
Hardik Pandya is an X-factor player not just for MI but for India as well. He has a great record against KKR too.
Sunil Narine has a fine record against MI. He will be a key asset for KKR.
What do stats say about MI vs KKR?
KKR and MI have played 28 IPL games against each other.
MI have won 22 games. KKR have won 6 matches.
MI’s highest score against KKR is 210. KKR’s highest score against MI is 232.
MI’s lowest score against KKR is 108. KKR’s lowest score against MI is 67.
Probable playing XI:
Mumbai Indians predicted XI:
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah
Kolkata Knight Riders predicted XI:
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium has long square boundaries. Spinners will enjoy these long boundaries. There will be something in it for the pacers too. Batsmen can count on the true bounce of the surface.
A high of 36 degrees and a low of 29 degrees is expected. There are no chances of rain. Dew might play a big factor and teams will prefer to chase under such weather conditions.
A total of 48 matches has been played at this venue. Teams batting first have won 22 games while chasing teams have won 26. The average scoring batting first at this venue is 140. On the other hand, the average 2nd innings score is a paltry 129. Anything above 165 will be a par score.
It is a battle between the sides based out of west and east in India. KKR might just pull one rabbit out of their hat against MI in this game.