Mumbai Indians will be looking to move back to the top of the table when they come up against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.
After a brief break, Mumbai Indians (MI) are back in action on October 16. Rohit Sharma’s men will come up against an inconsistent Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. MI can move back to the top of the table by winning against KKR on Friday.
Along with Delhi Capitals (DC), MI has been the most dominant side in IPL 2020. They started the tournament with two defeats in three games, but since then, they have consistently churned out good performances to stay in the top two positions of the points table. They come into this game on the back of a convincing victory against Delhi Capitals.
Meanwhile, KKR has been fairly inconsistent in the tournament, languishing in a midtable position throughout the first half of the tournament. They suffered a heavy defeat against RCB in their last game. Despite the defeat, KKR remains in the top four with eight points. A win on Friday will bring them level on points with MI.
MI doesn’t have top run-getters of IPL 2020 in the squad, but all batsmen have chipped in with big scores whenever the team has been in a state of bother. Surya Kumar Yadav has been the key batsman for MI with three half-centuries in the tournament, while Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock have two to their name. The explosive trio of Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan, and Hardik Pandya provide the finishing touches to the innings.
On the other hand, KKR has been inconsistent with their batting. Dinesh Karthik has endured a difficult IPL despite last week’s half-century against Kings XI Punjab. Shubman Gills has been the shining light in the batting unit, while Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell are yet to come up with a big knock in IPL 2020.
Along with DC, MI also has an exceptionally good pace bowling unit. Trent Boult, James Pattinson, and Jasprit Bumrah have bowled well in tandem, taking 31 wickets between them this year. Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya have also chipped in with wickets. It is a bowling unit that can instill fear in the opposition.
KKR’s bowling unit has blown hot and cold throughout the tournament. Pat Cummins has been inconsistent, but he remains KKR’s striker bowler, while Sunil Narine is unlikely to play soon since he has been reported for a suspect action. Varun Chakravarthy has impressed in few games. The complete bowling unit will have to step up to keep MI quiet on Friday.
MI is the favourite to win against KKR, but this tournament sprung surprises against the odds. KKR needs to bounce back quickly after being mauled by RCB, while MI will be looking to make it five wins in a row.
By Kiran Thakare