Fresh from their clinical display against Sunrisers Hyderabad, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders will look to set the record straight against nemesis Mumbai Indians in their second match of Indian Premier League 2021 on Tuesday.
Having missed the last two playoffs, KKR looked a completely different unit in the manner in which they defeated SRH by 10 runs in their IPL opener on Sunday but the Mumbai Indians are a different challenge.
Rohit Sharma’s team are notoriously slow starters but once they get it together, they are a hard team to stop. They have few weaknesses as a team and that has seen them win two titles on the trot.
But, under skipper Eoin Morgan, KKR will look to bring a fearless approach to the table. We saw evidence of that in the first game in the aggression shown by the openers and the explosive finish by Dinesh Karthik. As skipper of the England team, Morgan has shown the willingness to push the envelope and he will continue to do that at KKR too.
With Andre Russell, Karthik and Morgan, 2020 was a season of promise for KKR but they were let down by poor planning and form. They will be looking to set it right this time around.
The addition of allrounder Shakib Al Hasan gives them added depth and they should believe, much like MI, that if they get it right, they will be hard to stop.
While KKR are in the process of putting the new system in place, MI have done things right for a while now and if one goes by previous records, they have a huge psychological edge. KKR have won just once in their last 12 games against MI, and have an overall lopsided 6-21 head-to-head record.
But eventually, it will boil down to a battle of wits between Morgan and Rohit Sharma, under whose captaincy MI won a record fifth IPL title last season in UAE.
KRR found it easy against the SRH bowling attack, which lacked firepower but with Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult in their ranks, the MI attack will be a completely different proposition.
Gill’s struggle to bat at T20 pace has been a concern for KKR and it will be interesting to see the young opener’s approach against the finest in the business.
In his debut match for MI, Chris Lynn was their top-scorer, albeit with some luck as he survived quite a few edges and mishits. With Quinton de Kock out of quarantine, MI may go back to their preferred left-right opening combination of Rohit and de Kock. MI’s explosive middle-order consisting of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and the Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal will also be looking to come to the party.
Still early days but we are all in for a cracker of a contest.
|Matches played||MI wins||KKR wins|
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.
Match starts: 7.30 pm
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