MI vs KKR will be the thirty-second league match of the Indian T20 League as the tournament crossed the midway point this week with the return legs starting from Monday. Kolkata will have a tough time getting back into winning ways when they go up against an in-form Mumbai team, who have won all of their last four games.
Regardless of the form, Mumbai have always had an upper hand over Kolkata in the tournament’s history. Mumbai and Kolkata have clashed 26 times in the Indian T20 League with Mumbai winning 20 times and losing on six occasions. Mumbai’s most recent win against Kolkata came earlier this season, as they made it four wins in the last five face-offs.
Rohit Sharma vs Shubman Gill
The Mumbai captain will undoubtedly be Kolkata’s biggest threat going into the game. Rohit Sharma might not have exhibited brilliant consistency so far, but he was up to the task in Mumbai’s last clash against Kolkata where his opening knock of 80 runs took the match away from the opponent.
Kolkata opener Shubman Gill has also become instrumental in his team’s batting performance every match. Though Gill had faltered with a paltry seven in the first leg of the MI vs KKR fixture, the Punjab-lad has hardly underperformed since then. Whether it be his unbeaten 70 against Hyderabad, 47 against Rajasthan, or 57 against Punjab, Gill has shown promise.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Coming at first down for Mumbai, Suryakumar Yadav has slowly but surely started making his impact once again. Having garnered a brilliant 936 runs in his last two seasons, Yadav was always one of Mumbai’s biggest weapons and his recent match-winning 53 against Delhi and unbeaten 79 against Rajasthan have further cemented his stature.
With Kolkata still experimenting with their openers, the onus has heavily been on the middle order to perform and rescue the team from difficult circumstances. Coming first down, Rana had scored a handy 24 against Mumbai in the last match and has managed to chip in decently since then at an average of 21.42. After below-par displays in the last three matches, Rana is expected to be calmer against Mumbai.
Quinton de Kock
One of the few South African stars to click at the Indian T20 League this season is Quinton de Kock. De Kock has been the reason why Mumbai don’t rely too much on Rohit Sharma as the wicketkeeper-batsman keeps the scorecard ticking on the other end. Whether it is his 53 runs against Delhi, or the 49-run opening stand against Rajasthan, De Kock hardly lets the middle order come under pressure.
Mumbai: Quinton de Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult.
Kolkata: Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Tom Banton, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna, Pat Cummins
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