This contest can be dubbed as the battle of powerful middle-order in this year’s IPL. Over the years, this has been an exciting game in the IPL calendar. Dinesh Karthik will lead the Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) for the 3rd season running and will want to be put behind a heartbreaking 2019 season where they just missed a playoff spot finishing 5th. This will be the 2nd game in this tourney for Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians(MI). Historically speaking, MI has had the upper hand over KKR in the 12 seasons of IPL.
KKR will start their 2020 IPL campaign with this game and look to open their account with a win over MI. They have brought in an experienced and one of the best limited-overs batsman Eoin Morgan and arguably the best bowler going around in Pat Cummins. The team and Dinesh will hope this will bring about a change in fortune.
MI are coming to this game on the back of a disappointing loss against CSK. The defending champs had good starts both with the bat and ball but couldn’t finish off properly at the death. Their weakness in the spin bowling department was visible and will want to put on a much better performance but may find it challenging to contain Russell.
Key players from both sides:
Batsman – Shubman Gill, Quinton De Kock, Hardik Pandya and Eoin Morgan.
The impressive Shubman Gill will be one to watch out not just in this match but in the tournament where he is all set to open the innings. The free-flowing England skipper, Morgan, will lend massive support in the middle-order for KKR, especially in the slow UAE conditions. Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl the last game, and MI may be looking at him as a batsman at least at this point, so will look come into his own. De Kock looked good in the first but missed out on a big one against CSK.
All Rounders – Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Krunal Pandya, and Kieron Pollard.
Three of the best all-rounders in the world of T20 cricket will feature in this match- Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, and Kieron Pollard. These mentioned gentlemen have been in great form in recent times and can take the game away within a blink of an eye. Krunal Pandya didn’t have a great game in the opening encounter and will look to make amends.
Bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, and Trent Boult.
Both teams have in their arsenal 2 of the best fast bowlers going around in Bumrah and Cummins. Bumrah will look to redeem himself after showing an indifferent form in his recent outings, and Trent Boult is probably the only one who looked good for MI in the first match. As is the norm, the wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav will come into the play in a T20 game. Cummins, the costliest buy in the auctions, will want to come good in the opening match for KKR.
Battles to look forward
- Jasprit Bumrah vs Andre Russell and Sunil Narine
- Pat Cummins vs Rohit Sharma and Quinton De Kock
- Kuldeep Yadav vs Hardik Pandya
If any bowler can cause trouble to the big hitters like Andre Russell and Sunil Nairne, it has to be Jasprit Bumrah. With his accuracy, he is deadly on his day, and we all know how dangerous the KKR duo is with the bat. The battle between the Indian regulars Kuldeep and Hardik will be the one to watch out just for attacking instincts. Pat Cummins will be the key for KKR to dethrone the opening pair of Rohit and De Kock.
Head to Head between KKR and MI
- Matches Played: 25
- KKR Won: 6
- MI won: 19
Significant Approaching Milestones
90- Rohit Sharma needs 90 runs to complete 5000 IPL career runs.
150- This will be the 150th IPL game for MI all-rounder Kieron Pollard.
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket stadium , Abu Dhabi.
Date & Timings: September 23, 2020, at 7.30 PM IST.
Weather: Clear with the temperature around 35-36 C.
Pitch: Likely to be on the slower side with possible due later on.
An avid Cricket follower who likes to write on the gentleman’s game